Girl, 12, incorrectly diagnosed with flu dies week before Christmas from aggressive blood infection

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Alyssa Alcaraz suffers cardiac arrest and septic shock after symptoms misinterpreted by doctors.


Alyssa Alcaraz loved to sing, not only in her school’s choir but in videos she would post to, an app that allows users post short music, lip-syncing and dance videos.


Now those videos provide comfort to her 31-year-old mother, Keila Lino.

As she clicks through them, she wonders if there was more she could have done to save her 12-year-old daughter.

Alyssa came home from school on 13 December with flu-like symptoms and died four days later. It wasn’t until her memorial service that Lino learned from lab results that Alyssa died of cardiac arrest and septic shock after a bacterial infection that had somehow entered her bloodstream, and quickly shut down her organs’ functions.


“I’m just shocked that that’s what took my baby,” Lino said.

The Visalia, California, mother took Alyssa to an urgent care centre the day after she fell ill. There, Lino said, doctors told her Alyssa had the flu. So the middle school student stayed home for a few days, but didn’t get better. The typically active girl was not in any pain but was tired and had lost her appetite, Lino said.


On 17 December, a Sunday, Alyssa told her mother she was having trouble breathing. Lino took her back to the urgent care centre, where doctors discovered her oxygen levels were low. Alyssa was rushed to Kaweah Delta Medical Center – but by then, her mother said, it was too late.


Photo: NEWS M / News Source: The Independent