4-year-old fighting for life, suffered brain damage after getting the flu

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (CNN) — Since the beginning of the flu season, experts have warned that the virus can be dangerous. An Iowa family knows this all too well, as their 4-year-old daughter fights for her life after getting the flu.

4-year-old Jade DeLucia became seriously ill before Christmas.

“They didn’t think anything of it,” said her grandmother, Courtney Frey. “I think the highest her fever had gone at home was 100.”

After being rushed to a hospital she began seizing, prompting staff to fly her to a children’s hospital.

“They tested her for a lot of different things to ensure it wasn’t several infections or bacteria,” said Frey. “But the only thing that came back was influenza b that had gotten into her brain.”

It left the young girl fighting for her life.

“Yeah it was touch and go,” said Frey. “She just couldn’t breathe. The flu had built up in her lungs. Her brain had swelled.”

For nearly two weeks Jade has been hooked up to machines with her MRI results showing extensive brain damage.

“Thankfully two days ago Jade woke up,” Frey said. “And she opened her eyes and she started to move her little hands. And we just started to see a little more of her come back to us.”

The family is hoping for the best, but her parents have a message.

“Take them to the doctor,” said Frey. “If you feel like well… no, after 24-48 hours, take them. Get them tested. Demand for an influenza test. Because she said I would have much rather paid for the test than this.”

Family friends started a GoFundMe to help pay for Jade’s medical bills and treatment.

Her grandmother says the money allows Jade’s parents to stay by her side while they miss work.

So far friends have raised more than $6,000.

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