Iowa girl regains eyesight after losing vision to flu, father calls it miracle

Iowa girl regains eyesight after losing vision to flu, father calls it miracle
Jade DeLucia with her mother Amanda Phillips. Source: Facebook
3 Min Read

Daily US Times, Iowa: An Iowa girl who lost her eyesight after almost dying from the flu has regained her vision. Her mother confirmed it.

In a dramatic situation, just weeks after the four-year-old Jade DeLucia left the hospital, family members noticed that she was suddenly walking by herself to the bathroom, without touching the walls.

To test it, the family members asked her where her uncle was. Jade pointed her uncle and walked right to him.

Her mother Amanda Phillips told, “From there, it was almost an instant thing. She’s doing really good.”

Jade had not taken any flu shot this season and came down with the virus days before Christmas. Her parents did not realize it until Christmas eve when she developed a high fever.

The parents then rushed her to the hospital. She had a seizure in the hospital in Waterloo and was flown 80 miles to a children’s hospital in Iowa City.

Jade’s father Phillips wasn’t optimistic that she would ever see her daughter again.

Doctors said the flu had caused significant brain damage — encephalopathy. She was lucky to be alive, doctors added.

While talking with CNN in January, Phillips told, “They said our child might not ever wake up, and if she did, she might not ever be the same.”

But what happened later was nothing less than a miracle, her father described.

Jade’s neurologist said the flu had affected the part of her brain that perceives sight, and it soon became obvious that Jade couldn’t see. Her doctors didn’t know if she would ever see again.

Phillips said Jade will see an ophthalmologist later this month “to see where her eyesight does fall,” and a cognitive test may shed some light on a few issues she’s having.

Since the Iowa girl was diagnosed in the hospital with acute necrotizing encephalopathy or ANE, a rare disease that was brought on by the flu, the family is waiting on test results to find out if Jade has a genetic disposition to ANE.

If so, she had to go through more seizures, even without the flu.

Phillips wrote in a post on the Facebook group Jade’s Journey that he will never give up because Jade is not giving up.

But for now, “she’s doing awesome,” Phillips told CNN Sunday. “We’re excited, no matter what.”

University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital Dr. Theresa Czech met Jade when she was on full life support in the pediatric ICU. At a recent checkup, Czech sawthe girl’s transformation from a critically ill four-year-old patient, to a regular four-year-old at her check-up.