A 4-year-old Garland girl is Dallas County’s first pediatric flu-related death of the season. Her parents say she was an otherwise healthy child who only started showing symptoms four days before her death.
The family is still in shock trying to grieve and process how it happened so fast. They’re having to do it at the hospital where the child’s mother was hospitalized for flu-like symptoms.
Ashanti Grinage was the light of her parents’ life.
Ashanti’s father, Martell Grinage, says his daughter, who had no underlying health conditions, started showing symptoms of a cold Sunday evening after church. On Tuesday, they took her to the emergency room with a 103-degree fever. Tests determined she had Flu type A. She had not received a flu vaccine.
Martell says doctors sent Ashanti home once the fever subsided and recommended honey and lemon for her sore throat and cough and over the counter medications to keep the fever down. By Wednesday, she didn’t have a fever but still had other mild symptoms.
By Thursday, Ashanti was extremely lethargic. Her mom took her back to the ER, where she was diagnosed with pneumonia. She died later that day.
Martell says he’ll forever wonder if anything more could have been done to save his baby girl.
“I feel like I let her down and I lied to her because I told her I’d never let nothing bad happen to her,” he said. “That’s what’s killing me.”