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South Carolina teen dies from flu complications

Arden Reese Bradley, 13, was a student at Gaffney Middle School in South Carolina.

SHELBY, N.C. — A 13-year-old Gaffney, South Carolina girl has died from complications with the flu, according to her obituary from Blakely Funeral Home. 

Arden Reese Bradley, 13, died on January 31 at Atrium Health-Cleveland in Shelby, North Carolina.

Bradley's family told NBC affiliate WYFF that she got sick on January 27. 

She was taken to the hospital Wednesday and diagnosed with type A flu, then bilateral pneumonia, according to WYFF.

Bradley was a student at Gaffney Middle School in South Carolina.

"She loved her family, K-POP music and especially BTS, painting, photography, animals and nutcrackers," according to her obituary. 

Her funeral was held at Frederick Memorial Gardens in Gaffney, SC on Monday. 

"We'll all get through this," Don Johnson, Bradley's grandfather, told WYFF. "We'll find a new normal, and the hole in the heart will never close," he said. "But we'll keep moving, and we'll fill that hole with other things, but never will it be completely closed." 

State health officials report "widespread" flu activity across the Carolinas, with more than 100 deaths since the season started in late September.

"Don't be cavalier with this thing called the flu," Johnson told WYFF.

The CDC says the flu vaccine remains the most effective prevention. In fact, 80% of the child flu deaths this season were unvaccinated.

Doctors say most symptoms don't require a hospital visit, but parents should seek emergency care if their child:

  • Isn't responding to fever-reducing medication
  • Doesn't urinate more than twice a day
  • Has fast or troubled breathing


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