"I'm a mom. I'm supposed to protect my kids, and I couldn't," Jessica Decent-Doll tells WJBK
. The Michigan mother says she has been left with a sense of guilt after her 12-year-old son Michael died last week just days after coming down with flu-like symptoms. Decent-Doll tells the Times Herald
that Michael vomited during dinner Jan. 9. She took him to urgent care the next day when his symptoms didn't go away. Decent-Doll says Michael—who had gotten the flu vaccine in December—tested negative for flu, had normal vitals, and was prescribed an anti-nausea medication at urgent care. "The doctor said to keep an eye on him and keep giving him fluids," she says.
But last Thursday morning, Decent-Doll was confronted with a parent's nightmare when she went to wake up Michael. "When I came into his room he was on the floor. His eyes were open and he was looking at me," she tells WJBK. "The only way I can describe the way he looked is he looked like a fish out of water. A fish trying to breathe." Michael's father performed CPR while emergency workers were en route, but Michael died a short time later at the hospital. His family is waiting on an official cause of death, but the flu has already killed 20 kids this flu season—with an estimated three months left, WZZM reports. The Type A flu virus currently going around is more harmful for children because it's tougher on the immune system. That's something Decent-Doll knows all too well. "This flu or whatever is going around this year is unbelievably dangerous," she tells the Times Herald. (This 21-year-old thought rest would take care of the flu; he died.)