Ayzlee McCarthy’s Story


Pictured Above:  Front: Harlee Fahn, Irelynd McCarthy.  Back:  Gina Winter, RN; Michele Monson, RN; Lanette Peterson, RN; Amber McCarthy, Catie Ehlert, RN

Amber McCarthy has donated hand-made knitted hats to our nursery.  Along with the hats, Amber is also providing flu vaccine teaching sheets in her efforts to stop the spread of the flu, in honor of her daughter, Ayzlee.

Ayzlee’s Story

On Christmas Day 2014, Ayzlee Maeliana McCarthy, of Elk Horn, Iowa, was another typical 3-year-old running around having fun with family and opening up gifts.  Friday, December 26th was another day spent playing with her favorite Christmas gifts and presents from her birthday just a few weeks before, December 16th.  But on Saturday morning, December 27th, Ayzlee complained that her legs were hurting.  Her mom called the clinic and scheduled an appointment.

In the clinic, although she didn’t have any respiratory symptoms, Ayzlee was swabbed for the flu.  It was determined that she was positive for both Influenza A and Influenza B.  She also had a fever of 102.  She was sent home with Tamiflu and some for the rest of her family.  Mom was told to treat her symptoms.  A little over 24 hours later, Mom took Ayzlee to the Emergency Room for dehydration symptoms, increased heart rate and confusion.  There were still no respiratory symptoms.

Less than 10 hours later, on December 29, 2014, Ayzlee passed away from septic shock, secondary to Influenza.  Everything happened so fast and really without warning.  What seemed like a little “bug” where she was achy with a fever, turned into her struggling for breath and fighting for her life.  Ayzlee had received the flu vaccination in the fall, along with her siblings Easton and Irelynd, and her parents, Amber and Jim.  Although the flu vaccine for the 2014-2015 season was not as effective, the McCarthy family still all got vaccinated.  It is something they have always done and because of Ayzlee, will continue to do.