After child's death, Tacoma mother doesn't skip flu shots

South Bureau Chief Drew Mikkelsen reports.

A Tacoma woman makes sure her family gets annual flu shots after her elementary-aged daughter died from the flu.

Rebecca Hendricks didn’t think she needed a flu shot, so she never got one. Neither did any of her four children.

“I just thought it was irrelevant,” said Hendricks. “If it wasn't mandatory to go to school, it must not be important.”

Hendricks didn’t know the flu could kill until 2014 when her daughter was sent home from kindergarten with a fever. Two days later, 5-year-old Scarlet Taylor died from the flu.

Ever since, her mother has made sure Taylor's brother and sisters get flu shots every year.

She doesn’t know if getting Taylor vaccinated would have made a difference, but she wishes she would have had the chance to find out.

“The flu shot is never 100 percent,” said Hendricks. “I would take 4 percent if it gave me that much of a chance to have my daughter still here.”

Hendricks established the Fight the Flu Foundation to increase awareness about the importance of getting a flu shot.

She said her daughter wanted to be a famous singer and dancer when she grew up. Now Hendricks hopes her daughter’s story will make a difference.

“She’s saving lives,” said Hendricks.

© 2017 KING-TV


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