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

The Pena Family

FFF Advocate:
RoxxAnn Pena (mother)
Place of Residence:
Sinton, TX
Date of Death:
December 19, 2013
Share this Story:
<< Back to Family Stories

Reese Pena

Reese’s mother thought the flu vaccine was optional since it is not always required. This one decision not to vaccinate her daughter forever changed her entire family’s life.

Reese was a vibrant two-year-old who would sport a tutu with every outfit. She was a healthy toddler, although she sometimes had febrile seizures when she got a fever, usually when she got sick or after receiving a vaccine. She was incredibly active and ran around nonstop.

In late December 2013, Reese’s parents thought she had a common cold, but since she was not running a fever (and did not experience an associated febrile seizure) they assumed she was okay and would recover quickly. On December 18th, she slept almost all day. When she woke, she was acting normally but looked a bit pale. That night she ate dinner and was active as usual.

The next day, Reese’s grandmother tried waking her up to start the day. When she went into her room, she found Reese unresponsive. Her grandmother panicked and called 911. At the time, it seemed that there was no explanation for her passing given that she had eaten and been active just the night before.

An autopsy revealed that Reese had influenza B. Doctors explained that influenza (flu) had attacked Reese’s heart as she slept.

Reese did not receive a flu vaccine that year because of her past reactions to other vaccines. Her mom, Roxxann, thought it was an optional vaccine since it is not always required, and figured it would be best to decline the vaccine in an attempt to avoid any side effects like a febrile seizure. Now, she knows that one decision not to vaccinate her daughter was a dangerous one that forever changed her entire family’s life.

To honor Reese, her entire family, including Reese’s older siblings, get vaccinated against flu every year. Her mother wants to share Reese’s story with everyone to encourage them to take the flu seriously. She hopes that her story will help other families learn how to prevent the same tragedy from occurring.

Share this Story:
<< Back to Family Stories
Stay Informed
Sign up for our Weekly Flu News and quarterly newsletter, Fighting Influenza, to stay up-to-date on the latest flu news.
Newsletter

LOGO LICENSE AGREEMENT

You are required to accept all of the terms and conditions in this License Agreement in order to receive a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable, royalty-free license to use the FAMILIES FIGHTING FLU, INC. logo, displayed below (the “FFF Logo”), from Families Fighting Flu, Inc. (“FFF”). In order to accept these terms and conditions, you must click the “I Accept” button below.

  1. FFF hereby grants to you, and you accept, a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable, royalty-free license to use the FFF Logo, which you may download and use solely in online and print earned media publications for a period of no more than six (6) months in the United States.
  2. You acknowledge that the FFF Logo is a valid trademark; that FFF is the sole owner of the FFF Logo; and that FFF retains all right, title, and interest in and to the FFF Logo. You agree that any and all use that you make of the FFF Logo, and any and all goodwill arising from your use of the FFF Logo, shall inure exclusively to the benefit of FFF.  You also agree that you shall not challenge the validity of the FFF Logo or FFF’s ownership or title thereto during the term of the License Agreement or thereafter.
  3. You agree that you shall use the FFF Logo only in the form shown above, and that you shall not alter, modify, change, or edit the FFF Logo in any manner.
  4. You acknowledge the valuable goodwill and reputation in the FFF Logo, and that it is essential that the high standards and reputation associated with the FFF Logo be maintained. You therefore agree to use the FFF Logo consistent with the highest standards of quality so as to protect and maintain the FFF Logo and FFF’s rights therein.
  5. FFF shall have the right to review and inspect your use of the FFF Logo at any time. FFF, in its sole discretion, may determine that you are not using the FFF Logo in an acceptable manner and require that you discontinue your use of the FFF Logo.  To the extent that FFF requires that you discontinue your use of the FFF Logo, you agree that you shall remove the FFF Logo from all online and print earned media publications as soon as practicable under the circumstances, and that you shall not use the FFF at any time in the future.
  6. You must include the following notice in connection with any use of the FFF Logo: “The Families Fighting Flu, Inc. logo is the registered trademark of Families Fighting Flu, Inc.”
I Accept