MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It’s a parent’s worst nightmare: Your child is that one in a million the flu vaccine doesn’t work for.

“We’ve had a couple of the doctors tell us, point blank that our daughter is the sickest kid in the state right now, if not the region,” said Sandy Christenson of St Louis Park.

Christenson’s 14-year-old daughter, Carly, is fighting “Influenza A” and for her very life at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, where she was admitted on Christmas Eve.

Her father, Sean, holds the hand of his unconscious baby girl every day, hoping for a miracle.

“Every morning I get there, and she is there, it is another day with her, so that is all I can ask right now,” said Sean Christenson.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Chris Simon Reports

Carly, who plays basketball on the freshman sophomore team at St. Louis Park High School, returned home from practice Dec. 20, complaining of a bad sore throat. A quick visit to urgent care and doctors believed it was just a mild infection.

They prescribed Prednisone and sent her home. After all, Carly had no obvious signs of influenza and she had been vaccinated in August, so her parents didn’t give it second thought.

However the next day, that sore throat progressed to fever, shortness of breath and wheezing.  Carly’s lungs filled with fluid she was admitted to hospital for treatment. Her clogged lungs were not providing enough oxygen to her body, so she was given a heart and lung bypass via what is called an ECMO machine.

“They are now trying to balance having her body clot, but not clot this machine which is basically supporting her circulatory system, her lungs and heart functions right now,” said Sandy.

Carly stands a 50-50 chance of survival as of Thursday and she is making a tiny bit of progress each and every day.  She does need continued transfusions of type A-positive blood and plateletes to aid in her recovery.

“Through yesterday, Carly has used more than 56 liters of blood products, provided by Memorial Services Blood Bank, and we have even received platelets from as far away as Nebraska. These represent the donations of more than 100 individuals who have unknowingly helped to save our daughters life up until now, and we would like to thank them,” said Sandy.

Whether your donation finds its way to Carly or some other needy patient, the Christenson’s urge those who can to donate whatever blood products they can to replenish the system and help other victims of Influenza this season.

Carly Christenson’s CaringBridge site


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