Local teenager dies from flu complications 4 days before her birthday
IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls girl went to the doctor with a sore throat and fever, but her sickness took a turn for the worse and she died four days before her 14th birthday.
Liliana “Lily” Isabel Juson Clark visited an urgent care clinic on Dec. 27 because she wasn’t feeling well, according to a GoFundMe page set up by Deseray Burtenshaw. Burtenshaw is a friend of Clark’s mom.
On Sunday, less than two weeks later, Clark died due to flu complications. Her family was by her side when she passed away.
“Lily had the power to make anyone smile and laugh at her silly dances. She was a very girly girl and loved to spend hours styling her hair,” Clark’s obituary reads.
Clark was sent home with Tamiflu after her initial trip to the doctors, but on Dec. 30, she was taken back to urgent care, the GoFundMe says.
“Lily’s parents rushed her back in because of increasingly worse symptoms that included not being able to breathe and having a green color to her,” Burtenshaw said.
The urgent care called for an ambulance and she was taken to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center with her oxygen level at 60%, according to Burtenshaw. She said oxygen masks weren’t helping Clark, so she was sedated and a tube was put down her throat. Throughout the process, Burtenshaw added that Clark was throwing up.
According to Burtenshaw, doctor’s discovered that Clark had pneumonia and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus — a bacterium that causes infections. It had spread throughout her body and there was swelling and bleeding in her brain, Burtenshaw wrote.
Clark was taken to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake where tests reportedly showed no brain activity.
“Lily had never woke up since being sedated a week prior,” Burtenshaw said.
Clark attended Longfellow Elementary and Taylorview Middle School where “she was an outstanding student and beloved by her teachers and classmates,” her obituary reads. She enjoyed playing the violin and hoped to be a model and photographer one day.
Clark is one of six flu-related deaths in Idaho this season. Eastern Idaho Public Health Spokeswoman Mimi Taylor said flu activity is active right now throughout the country.
“This is definitely the time of year that flu activity picks up, from Christmas into the springtime is usually very high active flu season,” Taylor said. “The CDC has reported that it has been very active this year and Idaho has been identified by the CDC as a more active state for influenza right now.”
Taylor wants the public to be aware of preventative measures they can take to reduce getting the flu and spreading it.
- Remember the importance of getting vaccinated for the flu
- Make sure to wash your hands
- Cover your mouth when coughing
- Stay at home if you’re sick
- Avoid being around young children or older adults who are at a higher risk for complications of influenza
Clark’s funeral service will be Jan. 10 at 1 p.m. at Wood Funeral Home on Ridge Avenue. The family will visit with friends from 11 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. She will be buried at Fielding Memorial Park.
“She is our sweet Lily, beautiful inside and out. The world is a poorer place without her, but heaven gained a beautiful angel,” her obituary reads.
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