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Family Stories

The Drapeau Family

FFF Advocate:
Bethany Drapeau (mother)
Place of Residence:
Wagner, SD
Date of Child's Death:
April 27, 2017
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Amiah MorningStar Houseman

Amiah MorningStar Houseman was just four years old when she lost her fight against the flu.

On Easter Sunday, 2017, Amiah and her three sisters celebrated with an Easter egg hunt at her aunt’s house in Lake Andes, SD. This was Amiah’s favorite holiday and she was very excited that she was the one to find the golden egg! That evening she traveled back home to Brookings, SD. 

The next day Amiah began feeling sick and developed a fever. Her mother, Bethany took her to the ER right away, but they were sent home when doctors explained that she was likely suffering with a viral infection.  The next day Bethany returned with her daughter, who then tested positive for influenza B. 

She spent the next few days laying or sitting on the couch while her sisters were playing. On the ninth day of her illness, her mother returned to the ER for the fourth time because Amiah was not able to hold water down.  

The doctors tested her blood and realized that her illness was now affecting her kidneys. She was flown to Sioux Falls, SD and died just 12 hours later. Amiah had pneumonia and developed sepsis, brought on by the influenza B virus. 

Unfortunately, Amiah did not get a flu vaccine and that is something that her mother will question for the rest of her life. What if she had gotten the flu shot? Would Amiah still be here?  

Amiah’s mother has since learned that when a child receives a flu vaccination, it significantly reduces their chance of hospitalization and death. She now makes a point to vaccinate herself and her other children against the flu each year.

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