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4-year-old girl blinded by the flu regains her sight

Health News

PARKERSBURG, IA (CNN) – Complications from the flu caused a 4-year-old girl to go blind, but now she’s regained her sight.

In the days before Christmas, Jade Delucia’s mom, Amanda Phillips, noticed that Jade had a cold.

“She was still running around and playing with her sister, so I didn’t really think too much of it,”
Phillips said.

However by the morning, Jade was unresponsive.

Her parents rushed her to the emergency room where she was life-flighted to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

“For about four hours it was really rough,” Philips said. “We weren’t really sure if we were going to lose her there. They actually had to have two crash carts in there.”

After several weeks in the hospital recovering, Jade made progress, but a complication from the flu left her blind.

“She had a condition called acute Necrotizing Encephalopathy, secondary to influenza B,” said Dr. Theresa Czech, Jade’s pediatrician.

“At that point the neurologist was pretty honest with us, and we’re not really sure what this is going to be long term, what’s going to happen, so that was a really hard day,” Phillips said.

But after each low-point, Jade would bounce back. It happened again.

“After a couple weeks of being home, we noticed that she was able to see, she was following people around and putting the toilet seat down, she was giving high fives, and it was awesome,” Phillips said. “So it was so cool she was able to see again, it was the best thing.”

Jade’s family is hopeful for a healthy future as well as looking forward to being able to celebrate a Christmas that Jade can see herself.

“It will be a little bit more joyous since we have Jade again., I think it will be a really good Christmas this year,” Phillips said.


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