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10-year-old boy from Rockford dies from flu complications


ROCKFORD (WREX) — A Rockford boy has died from complications relating to the flu, according to a GoFundMe page created for the family to raise money for medical bills.

The boy died February 15th at the American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, according to his obituary.

According to a GoFundMe page, the boy was having trouble breathing on February 6th. He was rushed to SwedishAmerican Hospital in Rockford, before being flown to the Madison hospital for an increased level of care.

The page says he had a, "severe case of pneumonia which was taking up the entire lower lobe of his left lung and was encroaching into his right lung." He tested positive for Influenza A and the pneumonia developed into sepsis. He later died after being put on an ECMO, a heart-lung machine that keeps the heart pumping and the lungs breathing.

It's unclear whether the boy had gotten the flu shot.

The GoFundMe page raised more than $21,000, far exceeding the $8,000 goal. His obituary was posted as an update Wednesday on the GoFundMe page.

The child was a student at Christian Life and was described as loving others, being a good friend and brother.

"He was an explorer who was always up to try something new, unless it was strange food! [He] had a natural sense of humor; others could count on him to have a fun answer to almost any question," the obit reads. "His love of video games was matched by his love of roller coasters and all things water"

Visitation will be Thursday, Feb. 20 from 4 to 7 p.m. at City First Leadership College located at 5770 Spring Creek Road in Rockford.

The funeral will be on Friday, Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. at City First Church located at 5950 Spring Creek Road, also in Rockford.

All attending are invited to wear a splash of red, his favorite color. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family to help with medical expenses.

Our sister station, 13 WREX, reached out to the Winnebago County Health Department for flu-related deaths in the the county this season. The health department referred 13 WREX to the to the weekly county flu report. The Winnebago County Health Department said they only report pediatric flu deaths, not adult. That latest report will be released Feb. 21.

Jenise Rebholz

Evening Anchor, Heart of Illinois ABC

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