A dad who suddenly lost his 4-year-old daughter to the flu and pneumonia is left shocked and heartbroken by the girl’s untimely death.

Martell Grinage told Fox 11 little Ashanti caught a cold after church on Sunday evening. On Tuesday, her parents took her to the hospital after she had come down with a 103-degree fever.

The young girl from North Texas was sent home once her fever subsided. The symptoms doctors noticed in Ashanti that day were her sore throat and cough and she was given over the counter medications for the duration of her cold, by Wednesday her fever was gone.

Martell told CBS 11 on Thursday:

“She wasn’t even running [a] fever at this time, we just knew she was very sluggish and she wasn’t eating.”

Her mother took her back to ER and she died later that day from pneumonia.

Fox 11

The family is still trying to process how fast the child’s health declined. The little girl didn’t have any known health issues and only started showing symptoms four days before her death. Martell said:

“In four days I lost my girl, a total of four days.”

Ashanti did not receive the flu vaccine. Her dad said he’ll “forever wonder” if he could have done anything more to prevent his daughter’s death.
Fox 11
He told Fox:
“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. That’s what’s killing me.”

As previously reported by Dearly, medical experts encourage parents to give children a seasonal flu shot as the first line of defense against the flu virus.

Dr. Christopher Perkins of Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) told CBS:

“We cannot predict the intensity, severity or duration of the flu season from year to year. The best way to protect yourself and others is to get your seasonal flu shot.”

According to the station, Ashanti’s death is the seventh flu-related tragedy in Dallas County for the season.

Her family said they lost the light of their life.

Watch the video below:

About the author

Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.

Leave a comment

9 Replies to “‘I Feel Like I Let Her Down’: Dad Grieves Loss of 4-Year-Old Daughter After She Caught a Cold and Died of Flu”

  • Lyn 2 years ago

    Think it should be mandatory for the flu shot as a safety measure for every one especially for kids entering school and daycare, as well as senior residences!!!!

  • Kristin Gray 2 years ago

    I agree with Lyn.

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    Flu shot flu shot flu shot. Ugh why won’t people get that???

  • nancy 2 years ago

    When are people going to learn that vaccines work and are necessary ? this death was preventable , every year we hear this stories , I always get my flu shot in September and make my son take it . I know that many people don’t agree but here are the results .

    • Donna 2 years ago

      I’m sitting in my house with two of my daughters while we recover from the flu. We all had our flu shot. I do know our fly wasn’t as severe as it would be had we not had our shots. I’m thankful my gir,s are on the road to recovery.

  • Pam 2 years ago

    My comfort to the family. To the father, you are not to blame for your daughter’s death. If doctors and a hospital couldn’t save her, there isn’t anything you could have done either. Your little girl is in heaven now, and she feels your love and sees your heart.

    In my opinion, giving her the flu shot would more likely have put her at risk than helped. Having read the empirical research on flu vaccines (instead of the non-fact-based propaganda), I don’t see evidence that they work. Flu vaccines do not prevent your getting the flu. What they do is give you a milder version that is supposed to confer immunity. It doesn’t work, because the vaccines mutate constantly, and you won’t be immune to the mutated version that comes around the next day. Furthermore, because using a vaccine causes your body to take a shortcut in the usual recovery process, if a person gets a bad case of the flu they may not recover at all. As a result, many of the people who actually die from the flu are ones that did have the flu shot and ended up getting a worse case. This is not to mention that the shots are not 100% safe to begin with. A certain number of people die from them every year, and some of the rest get adverse reactions. I never take the shot. It wouldn’t protect me, and it wouldn’t protect anyone around me. People who believe it does usually work for a pharmaceutical company, pharmacist, or doctor–the ones who profit from selling the shots, or they listen to what people say about the issue instead of researching it in the legitimate scientific literature (literature where the studies were not paid for by pharmaceutical companies). Shots that work are vaccines such as the polio vaccine, which literally wiped out polio in our nation for a long time. The best prevention for the flu is to eat and live healthy and make sure your vitamin D levels are up to par.

    • Victoria 2 years ago

      100% agree Pam. I’ve had the flu shot maybe 2x in my life and I am 50. The only reason I even had it was because my doctor pressured me. I’m too concerned about the risks of the shot and everything else you stated above. I’ve never had the flu. What helps is staying away from people who are ill as much as possible, and taking care of your body.

  • Kiki 2 years ago

    I totally agree Pam, we’ve seen the same outcome with the flu shot. This almost happened to my good friend last week. The true question is what exactly is this “flu”….?

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    There are pros and cons to the flu shot and we actually lost a friend to a reaction to the flu shot and another friend who developed wasting away syndrome that affected his whole side of his body and he had to leave his job as a police fitness coach on disability. I personally have never received the flu shot and having a severe latex allergy it’s contraindicated anyway. I am so sorry about the loss that this family has suffered. The flu can still happen with or without the vaccine. They say to a lesser degree although I disagree with that, but with children things can happen very quickly and their condition can deteriorate very fast regardless. As a parent we blame ourselves when something happens to our children, but please know that the vaccine most likely would have attributed faster to this little girl’s death.

We are excited to announce Dearly has joined forces with Mama’s Uncut. Helping Mom’s across the United States answer questions on life’s big challenges.