Mission: To save lives and reduce hospitalizations by protecting children, families, and communities against influenza.
Family Stories

The Lowery Family

FFF Advocate:
Pegy Lowery (mother)
Place of Residence:
Port Orchard, WA
Date of Death:
January 16, 2016
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Piper Lowery 

The year she died, Piper had not been vaccinated against the flu because she did not like needles. 

Piper Ann was a healthy 12-year-old girl with mild asthma. She lived life to the fullest and loved Mine Craft, singing hymns and pop music, riding dirt bikes, sewing and crafts, and dolls. Her best friend was her little brother, Noah.

On January 12, 2016, Piper had a fever of 102 degrees and was taken to the local urgent care. Her mother, Pegy, had recently fallen ill and tested positive for influenza. Based on Piper’s symptoms, she was given an antiviral medication, Tamiflu. However, two days later, Piper’s condition seemed to be getting worse rather than better. She was complaining of side pain, leg weakness, and had labored breathing. At that point, it was decided that Piper needed to go back to the urgent care, where they did some chest x-rays. Although her x-rays were clear, the doctors indicated Piper may be in the beginning stages of pneumonia and as such, started her on some antibiotics.

On January 15, 2016, three days after falling ill, Piper’s mother took her to the pediatrician’s office because Piper was still experiencing a high fever and labored breathing. Following examination, the pediatrician prescribed prednisone to help alleviate Piper’s breathing symptoms. That evening, Piper’s fever finally broke, but the following day began complaining of stomach pain. Piper began to throw up a bloody discharge that appeared to be blood clots, at which point her mother decided it was time to go to the local hospital. Piper was worried that she would be given an IV at the hospital, but Piper’s parents knew taking her to the hospital was the right decision at the time. Piper was so weak that her father had to carry her to the car. On the way to the hospital, Piper was alert and talking with her parents.

Upon arrival at the hospital, Piper exclaimed “Ohhhh, Mama” and collapsed into her mother’s arms. As her terrified mother and some good Samaritans attempted to help hold Piper up, they noticed that blood was coming from Piper’s nose. The doctors and nurses at Mary Bridge’s Hospital worked tirelessly on Piper in an effort to save her life. Piper passed away at 12:23pm on January 16, 2016. Piper’s cause of death was H1N1 influenza and acute renal failure.

Piper had not been vaccinated against the flu because she did not like needles. Piper’s mother, Pegy, is now an active advocate for annual flu vaccinations. She asks that everyone get annual flu vaccines so that no one else becomes a face of the flu.

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