DALLAS — The mother of a six-year-old boy who died in November said he was diagnosed with the flu by Children’s Medical Center Dallas practitioners the night before he died.
Cell phone video taken just hours before Adam Lucero passed away shows the sick little boy writhing in pain, beseeching his mother.
"Help me," Adam said.
Maria Garcia tried to do just that, taking her son to Children's Medical Center Dallas on November 29, the night before he died. That day, flu-like symptoms has progressed into excruciating leg pain.
"I thought it was something else attacking my son's muscle tissue. That's what I was afraid of," Garcia said. "When [the nurse practitioner] told me it was the flu, that gave me some comfort because you don't want it to be something else because if it's the flu, he's going to get better."
Hospital documents show Adam tested positive for Type B flu. He was sent home with a prescription for Tamiflu.
Garcia meant to fill that prescription after taking her son to his regular doctor at 7:30 a.m. the next morning.
"While we were in the waiting room, I noticed that my son didn't look so good, so I looked under his shirt to see if he was still breathing and I didn’t see any movement in his stomach," Garcia said.
Attempts to revive her son failed. Half an hour after returning to Children's Medical Center, Maria Garcia was told that Adam was dead. Garcia would like to know how the hospital could have missed signs of deadly flu complications.
The flu virus can, rarely, attack muscle tissues and result in kidney failure. The medical examiner hasn't officially ruled a cause of death in this case. Garcia said she was told it may take until February, if ever, to determine what went wrong inside her son's body.
"I had to go and take my son's gifts off layaway for Christmas," Garcia says through tears. "I didn't get to see him perform in the Christmas program at school and so many other things that I'm not going to get to do with him."
That pain is what she wants to spare other families from. She wants others to know they can stand their ground when their children's health is at stake.
Children's Medical Center Dallas has not yet commented on the case.