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VISALIA, Calif. - A 12-year-old California girl is dead after being misdiagnosed with the flu, according to her family.
Alyssa Alcaraz, of Visalia, died Dec. 17 of cardiac arrest, which was brought on by septic shock from a strep infection in her blood, KFSN in Fresno reported.
The preteen’s family told the news station that she came home from school one day with what appeared to be food poisoning. A trip to the doctor resulted instead in a flu diagnosis.
When Alyssa did not get better after several days of rest at home, her mother again took her to an urgent care clinic. When the doctor there saw that her oxygen levels were low, she was rushed to a hospital, KFSN reported.
Alyssa’s organs began shutting down within hours, and she later died.
Family members mourned the girl on social media.
“Please continue to pray for me. My baby went to be with her God and her Grandma Rachel,” Alyssa’s father, Jeremy Alcaraz, wrote on Facebook the day after she died. “I’m so torn right now, it’s killing me.”
Her mother, Keila Lino, wrote on Christmas Day that the family visited Alyssa’s favorite spot, bringing along some of the girl’s stuffed unicorns, which she took everywhere.
“Christmas won’t be the same without you,” Lino wrote. “It was your favorite holiday, and you always looked forward to it every year.”
Lino wrote earlier this week that she misses her daughter every day.
“Alyssa was a brave and strong young woman her entire life, even until her last breath of air,” her family wrote in her obituary. “(She) had a passion for music, (and) not a day went by that she wouldn’t sing her little heart out.”
“Now she’s singing with the angels.”
The Green Acres Middle School student, who enjoyed science and choir, loved cooking, baking and spending time with her family, the obituary read.
Two GoFundMe pages were established, one on behalf of Alyssa’s mother and the other on behalf of her father, to help the family pay for her funeral and burial arrangements. The two pages have raised more than $15,000.