‘Our miracle’ Iowa child with severe brain damage stemming from flu gets clear brain scan

Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 4:51 PM CDT

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Jade DeLucia of Parkersburg nearly died in 2019 after catching the flu. It put the 4-year-old into a coma and left her blind. Her vision returned a few weeks after waking up, but Jade has been living with severe brain damage. A recent scan shows the now 6-year-old’s brain, is healed.

“She is our miracle,” Amanda Phillips said, Jade’s mother.

After getting the flu Jade developed Acute Necrotizing Encephalopathy known as ANE, which caused serious problems with her brain.

”When we took the original MRI, her whole scan was black. So there was severe, severe brain damage. They honestly didn’t even know when she would wake up, if she would wake up. And then when she woke up blind we were like, that’s okay, you know, at least she’s awake,” Phillips explained.

Weeks later, when her vision returned, it was the beginning of a recovery that would go far beyond what her family ever imagined.

A few weeks ago, Jade got an updated scan that even left doctors in awe.

“She goes, there’s nothing there. And of course, I’m like, what do you mean there’s nothing there? And she’s like her brain is completely healthy. There’s no sign of any brain damage whatsoever,” said Phillips.

Jade does have absence seizures, which her mom describes as staring into space, but medicine for those has been working. Her family says since her brain healed, they’re seeing Jade’s personality emerge. The 6-year-old will start first grade in the fall.

“This is Jade, we finally got her back, and it’s the most exciting thing ever,” Phillips said.

Phillips wants to thank everyone for their support the last couple of years. She is sharing this resource for those with loved ones who have ANE, it’s a resource that has helped their family during Jade’s journey.

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