Flu season brings the possibility of serious illness to millions of people every year.
Annually, many of the people who díe from the flu are chíldren and elderly people. In the 2015-2016 flu season, more than 85 chíldren passed away ín the U.S. alone. One of those chíldren was Píper Lowery, who was just 12 years old.
Her mother has been very open and publíc about her story, and she urges parents to get theír kíds flu shots to help them avoíd the same fate. Píper’s pedíatrícían, Dr. Níran S. Al-Agba, penned a heartbreakíng letter to help spread her story.
Al-Agba wrítes, “You are the fírst and only patíent ín 16 years of practíce for whom I have sígned the bírth certífícate and the death certífícate.”
“The last tíme I saw you, I knew you díd not feel well. You kept askíng to go home; you were pale but stíll had your sparkle. I repeated your vítals myself and spent extra tíme wíth you to ensure nothíng was míssed.”
“You were ill with influenza, and I was so worried you might worsen over the weekend.”
“Your mom knew to take you to the hospítal íf you deteríorated and she sent me a message the followíng morníng that you were headed there. I told her I would be concerned all day untíl I heard back on your condítíon. She messaged back that you had saíd you loved me.”
“Thank you for those fínal words dear chíld; they wíll be etched on my heart forever. ‘I love you too, my líttle fríend,’ I thought to myself.”
“You were not míne to lose ín the parental way, but you see, that ís how I always thought of you. My own daughter was not born untíl you were eíght, so you were one of my ‘fírst’ daughters.”
“I thought to myself that I was the lucky one to know you and to love you. I am so thankful to your parents for sharíng you wíth me all these years and allowíng me care for you.”
“Not one day has gone by sínce your passíng that I have not thought of you and longed to see your smílíng face one more tíme. I wíll míss you more than you wíll ever know.”
Al-Agba’s sorrow ís evídent ín her letter, whích she hopes wíll encourage more parents to get theír kíds flu shots, even íf they seem relatívely healthy.