Family of 12-year-old girl who died from flu speaks out

U.S. & World

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The family of a child who died from the flu earlier this week is advocating for flu shots following her sudden passing.

Twelve-year-old Paloma Olivia Harris died suddenly of the flu on Jan. 14 at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

Her uncle, Mitch Geary, speaking on behalf of the family says they didn’t see this coming at all.

“You never expect anything like this. I just thought it was a normal flu like you hear about all the time.” Geary said

Paloma is described by her family as outgoing and energetic. She played sports at her school and was a member of the band. She only battled the flu for a few days before her passing.

“We took her to the doctor and it just jumped on top of us a lot quicker than anybody would expect.” Geary said.

Her family is now taking this opportunity to encourage others to get their flu shots.

“I’ve never been an advocate of the flu shot, I mean I will more so now and honestly I don’t know if she took one or not. Seems like it gets worse and worse every year so I think it’s a good precautionary.” Geary said.

Paloma’s family would like to thank the community, Carpenters Middle School, Foothills funeral home, Texas Roadhouse on Alcoa Highway and Rio Revolution Church for their outpouring of support during this time.

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