San Diego

Mother of Teen Who Died From Flu Speaks Out

"She just passed a fitness test the week before."

On April 6, 2017, Jenifer Wood, 14, collapsed in her Descanso home and never woke up. The Medical Examiner said her death was caused by Influenza B.

"You always think about what you could have done differently," said Tanya Wood, mother of Jenifer. Tanya said when Jenifer complained of a sore throat and coughing, she took her to the doctor.

"They did a nose swab and said Influenza Type B, so they said just go home, drink a lot of fluids. Then around one in the morning, she had a little bit of blood in her phlegm," Tanya recalled. "I called the ER line. They said if she develops a fever or it gets worse bring her back in. Well, I didn’t get the opportunity. She was gone by 5:50 in the morning."

The autopsy determined Jenifer had asthma, but her mother said she never showed signs of that.

"Jenifer never had an actual asthma attack. She was a gymnast, competitive cheerleader, swam, rode horses. She literally just passed a fitness test the week before," said Tanya.

NBC 7 reached out to the Children's Primary Care Medical Group, which supplied the medical history for Jenifer's autopsy. The President said he could not comment on the case because of medical privacy laws. But he did give this statement:

"Many providers and staff are really devastated by her [Jenifer Wood] passing.  This and any unexpected outcome we review thoroughly. We review all such cases to provide the best possible care to our patients.”

The San Diego Health and Human Services Agency said this year 87 people have died from Influenza in San Diego County. They added Jenifer was the youngest person to pass away from it.

Dr. Wilma Wooten with the Health and Human Services Agency said that Tanya did everything right to help her daughter. Dr. Wooten added it is important for anyone with the flu who has symptoms of weezing, shortness of breath or fever to get to a doctor immediately.

Wood's family held a fundraiser on May 20 to raise money to create a scholarship in Jenifer's name. They will be giving the money to a student at Jenifer's school, Granite Hills High School.

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