Virginia teen died just days after flu diagnosis, mother says

National and World

Colette Giovanniello believes her 16-year-old daughter died from complications related to the flu so she's asking the hospital for an autopsy

LEESBURG, Va. (CNN Newsource) – The mother of a 16-year-old from Virginia said her daughter died suddenly after being diagnosed with the flu.

“We don’t really know how to go on without Katie because she was…the light of our family.”

Colette Giovanniello said Katie was diagnosed with influenza B on February 2. The teen died five days later.

“This is real hard because it’s so sudden,” Giovanniello said.

She believes her daughter died from complications related to the flu so she’s asking the hospital for an autopsy.

On Thursday, she called the health department in the hopes of getting more answers.

“I know something wasn’t right and I don’t know what it was. I want to know what happened in her body.”

Giovanniello said her daughter did get a flu shot.

“In a mother’s mind, it’s, ‘What could I have done? What did I miss?’…You start blaming yourself. It’s, of course, a natural instinct.”

Katie’s would be the first flu-related death involving a child this season in Virginia.

“We’re really going to miss her,” Giovanniello said.

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