Mooresville mourns death of daughter that started with flu


The flu is a growing danger in Indiana. The State Department of Health reports seven more deaths in the last week.

That means 37 Hoosiers have died so far this season. The most deaths are in Marion and St. Joseph counties around Indianapolis and South Bend.

A mother in Mooresville is grieving the death of her daughter who lived in Evansville and died just days after being diagnosed with the flu.

Michelle Pickering just buried her 22-year-old daughter Amanda Hale after she died January 9. Hale's death certificate listed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which Pickering said developed after Amanda was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia after first coming down with the flu.

Pickering said her daughter called her in early January to say she had a high fever, body aches and congestion.

"She had a high temperature, she told me and she was taking Tylenol for it and she felt terrible," explained Pickering.

A few days later, Amanda went to the emergency room and was tested for and diagnosed with the flu, but sent home. The next day, Amanda's fiance found her unconscious and rushed her to the hospital.

From there, Pickering said Amanda just got worse. She was put on a ventilator and then into a medically-induced coma so her lungs could heal.

"It just went from really bad, to super, to death," said Pickering. "Her liver was shutting down and so she never at one time, showed any recovery at all."

Pickering asked the doctor how this could have happened.

"He said, 'It's a virus. It's an airborne virus' and he told me that a lot of people her age are getting it. That's what he said," remembered Pickering.

Amanda worked at a nursing home as a certified nurses assistant, but Pickering didn't know if she got a flu shot yet this year.

"I'm assuming that she did, but honestly, I don't know for sure," said Pickering.

What Pickering does know now, though, is that Amanda should have gotten help sooner.

"She waited too long, but she's young and didn't know and thinking she could snap out of it, I think and I'm sure never thought she was going to die," said Pickering.

That's just what happened, though, leaving this mother, to bury her oldest child - her only daughter.

"I will always have a piece of my heart gone," said Pickering.

Amanda Hale would have celebrated her 23rd birthday on Wednesday.