Mother warns families after daughter goes blind after contracting the flu

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — There continues to be a severe flu outbreak across the country.

Here locally,  Marion Preparatory Academy even had to close for cleaning and there are visitor restrictions at the Fairfield Medical Center.

Now, a Columbus mother is sharing her daughter’s heartbreaking story in hopes of helping others.

Her daughter tested positive for the flu and weeks later she was left blind.

Life is a lot different now for 10-year-old Katherine Fleming.

Her mother, Casaundra, said she tested positive for the flu a year ago after getting a flu shot.

“It didn’t go away, it kept getting worse and worse,” Fleming said.

The symptoms lasted at least three weeks.

Then one morning she woke up and Fleming said everything took a turn for the worst.

“She was screaming because she couldn’t see,” Fleming said.

She was rushed to the hospital and Fleming said she was in the ICU.

“Finally did a spinal tap and realized that her spinal pressure was so high and that it caused pressure to seep into her optic nerves,” Fleming said.

Her vision was gone.

“I never knew it could do this. Never,” Fleming said.

 Fleming said her daughter didn’t have any health issues before this.

“Everything that led up was because of the flu. She got the flu and it got worse and worse,” Fleming said.

Nearly the same thing happened to a four-year-old girl in Iowa.

She was also left blind after getting the flu, except she didn’t get vaccinated.

“Everything that that little girl went through, other than the breathing, she went through,” Fleming said.

The Center for Disease Control said this season’s flu strains are hitting children particularly hard.

Here in Ohio, there are widespread reports of the flu.

Fleming hopes her daughter’s story gets others to take the flu seriously.

“It’s hard to see your child who you love and who you want to see have a normal life never have that,” Fleming said.

Katherine is still going to doctors on a regular basis and now goes to the Ohio State School for the Blind.

It’s important to note that the flu season in Ohio can run as late as March.

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