Family Wants Answers in 9-year-old's Flu-Related Death
By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A metro family is devastated after suddenly losing their loved one. The 9-year-old Putnam City student died days after complaining of flu-like symptoms, but it's still not clear what caused her death.
The family isn't sure if she died from H1N1, if it was the prescribed medicine, or medical complications, all they know is that they're desperate for answers.
“At one point I was like ‘Why her? Why not me?’ Cause she brought the happiness to the house, she was just amazing,” said Angelica Ramirez, Lisbeth's sister.
Lisbeth Ramirez, 9, was a 4th grade Putnam City elementary student. The lives she touched is evident in the many cards and letters the family received after her death.
“It doesn't feel real, it was all the sudden,” Ramirez said.
Angelica Ramirez said her sister had flu-like symptoms and she took her to the doctor where Lisbeth was tested for the flu.
“She goes ‘Well, it turns out that Lisbeth has the flu and we're going to do something to calm her fever.’ She was like 'give her a lot of liquids, wash her hands, just the usual,'” Ramirez said.
Lisbeth was prescribed Tamiflu and Ibuprofen, but she wasn't getting any better and was having breathing problems. Her parents took her to the hospital two days after the initial doctor visit, but it was at the hospital when something went terribly wrong.
“She started telling the doctors ‘I can't breathe. I can't breathe.’ And from there it just went downhill,” Lisbeth’s sister said.
Lisbeth died in the hospital only hours after she was brought in.
“They asked the doctors what happened and the doctors said it was her heart. It just went out,” Ramirez said.
The family is devastated and left wondering what exactly caused a healthy 9-year-old to suddenly die. They know answers won't bring Lisbeth back, but will help them heal from their loss.
“We're getting swine flu from one side and a heart attack from the other. Something is wrong,” Ramirez said.
Almost a week after the initial doctor visit and the same day as Lisbeth’s funeral, her father received a call from the doctor’s office. He was told tests came back that Lisbeth had H1N1. They could not confirm anything about Lisbeth having a heart attack or heart complications.
The state medical examiner’s office said it could be months before they have an official cause of death. The M.E. ordered drug screen tests, but they take three to six months to come back.