Child with flu-like symptoms dies in Dallas

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on January 8, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 8 at 7:16 PM

DALLAS - Earl Johnson said his daughter, Tahila, was a daddy's girl. He shared phone video of the six year old opening her Christmas presents.

Less than two weeks later, Tahila was found dead in her bed after suffering flu-like symptoms, her family said.

“My baby is hot and she is saying that she is sick," Earl Johnson said. "I knew something was wrong with her when she didn't want to go to school."

Tahila Johnson's grandmother found the child unresponsive at about 6:45 a.m. at the family's Dallas home.

Johnson told News 8 her granddaughter had been complaining of aches and pains and a sore throat since Sunday. The family took her to Dallas Regional Medical Center in Mesquite, where she was seen by doctors Monday night around 6 p.m.

Earl Johnson said after waiting for hours in the emergency room, they spent only a few minutes talking to a doctor.

While the family said they were told the child had the flu and were sent home with a prescription, the child was never specifically tested for the flu.

"They even told us they didn't check her for flu, and just gave her Tylenol and Zyrtec and sent us out the door," said the girl's father.

Earl Johnson said he put his daughter to be around 11 p.m. and she appeared to be doing okay. The girl's grandmother went back to check on her around 6:45 a.m. and found Tahila dead. The family said they called 911 and tried to revive her, but it was too late.

The father said he blames the hospital for not doing more, but is angry with himself for not demanding more tests.

"Make them check, make sure you do more to take care of your baby," he said. "That's what is beating me up the most. I felt like I could have done more, like I should have made them check my baby for this and that."

Officials at the Dallas Regional Hospital said they can’t answer questions regarding the case, but said all procedures were followed.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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