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Posted on: January 11, 2018 at 3:21 pm
Last updated: January 11, 2018 at 6:06 pm

When you’re a parent, it is absolutely heartbreaking to witness your child fighting off an illness. Even something as common as a cold. With flu season amongst us, parents across the United States are witnessing the devastating effects of this year’s influenza. Unfortunately, some more than others.

The Flu-Related Condition 7-Year-Old Cisco Galvez Every Parent Needs to Know About

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It was New Year’s Eve When Juanita Vidana and step-dad Frankie Galvez’s son, Cisco Galvez, began complaining of breathing problems. Breathing issues were not unusual for Cisco seeing as he was already living with asthma. But, to be safe, Juanita and her son took a trip to the Dignity Health Center emergency room in San Bernardino, California. They were not alone either.

“It was full of people coughing and sneezing – everybody was there for the flu basically,” Juanita described.[1]

Doctors’ initial diagnosis was that Cisco’s breathing complaints were likely related to his asthma. They treated and then released him. But within three days, Juanita and her son were back in the San Bernardino emergency room.

Cisco had not gotten any better. In fact, his condition only worsened, showing signs of:

  • Fever
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Terrible stomach ache

“He said, ‘Mom, I just want to go home and sleep on the couch. I want to lay and stretch my legs. I love you,’” Cisco’s mother recalled. “I told him I loved him and that I would bring him home a soon as they gave him the medicine and he was better.”[1]

After running several tests, doctors decided to send him to the intensive care unit (ICU) in Loma Linda. While awaiting transport, however, “Cisco stopped breathing and passed away in the early hours of January 4th.”[2]

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Myocarditis: The Real Cause of the Death of Cisco Galvez

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Known as a heart condition that can result from the flu, myocarditis is the condition that took Cisco’s life. Although it doesn’t happen very often, according to Dr. Adrian Cotton at Loma Linda University Health, “when it happens it’s very bad… Most people think of the flu as a cold, you know, ‘I’m going to get over it.’ Hopefully, people get over it but not everybody does.”[1]

The most common cause of myocarditis is a viral infection and results in an inflamed heart. As Dr. Cotton mentioned above, it’s does not occur often, but myocarditis symptoms in children can include:[3]

  • Fever
  • Fainting
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid or abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias)

How to Prevent Myocarditis: 2 Simple Tips

The tips are few and simple, but the most effective for preventing this flu-related condition.[3]

  1. Avoid contact with people (and places) who have a viral or flu-like illnesses until they’ve recovered.
  2. Sneeze into your sleeve, stay home, wash your hands regularly, and sanitize your environment.
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Experts suggest seeing your family doctor at the first sign of myocarditis symptoms. Keep an eye out especially for chest pain and shortness of breath. Cisco’s parents did exactly that when, only two days after their son’s passing, their 9-year-old daughter and 5-month-old son started exhibiting flu-like symptoms.

If you would like to give to Cisco Galvez’s family’s funeral expenses, his aunt Melissa Kakuk has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs. You can find it here.

[1] About, R. M. (2018, January 06). 7-year-old San Bernardino boy dies of flu-related condition. Retrieved January 11, 2018, from http://abc7.com/health/7-year-old-san-bernardino-boy-dies-of-flu-related-condition/2869959/

[2] Click here to support Funeral Expenses for Cisco Galvez organized by Melissa Kakuk. (n.d.). Retrieved January 11, 2018, from https://www.gofundme.com/funeral-expenses-for-cisco

[3] Myocarditis. (2017, July 12). Retrieved January 11, 2018, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/myocarditis/symptoms-causes/syc-20352539

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