Father of 15-year-old Texas girl who died from flu warning other parents

Precious Angel Hernandez Cantu, 15, died shortly after being diagnosed with the flu.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Precious Angel Hernandez Cantu, 15, died shortly after being diagnosed with the flu.

"I didn't walk into the hospital knowing that I wasn't going to walk out without my little girl," said her father, Steve Cantu.

Precious was the oldest of his six children.

"Told her daddy is going to protect you no matter what and I couldn't protect her from this," Cantu said.

Precious felt sick Wednesday Feb. 7. She had a fever, body aches and chills. Her doctor diagnosed her with influenza Type B.

"She didn't want to get out of bed," Cantu said. "At the time, I just thought it was another fever. You know, like the kids have. I've been through it before."

They recommended Precious take Tamiflu. Cantu said his daughter did not take it because she was scared of the side effects.

Now, he regrets allowing her to make that decision.

"I wish somebody could have told me what I'm trying to tell people now. I would have made my little girl take the tamiflu whether she wanted to or not," Cantu said.

Precious was back in the hospital Saturday Feb. 10, suffering from severe chest pain and body aches.

By Sunday, her organs were shutting down. Cantu said her heart stopped but doctors were able to revive her. She spent about a week on life support until her death Feb. 18.

Cantu said Precious never had any pre-existing conditions or medical issues.

"She never had problems like this," Cantu said. "She was active."

He believes if she would have taken Tamiflu it could have helped prevent this tragedy.

" I think it would have helped and changed my whole life if I would have made her take the Tamiflu," Cantu said.

There will be a plate sale on Saturday and Sunday to help the family with funeral expenses. It will be held at 16643 Interstate 35 Access Rd. Atascosa, TX at 11:30 a.m.

There will be a motorcycle ride in Precious' honor Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Riders are meeting at Last Chance Ministries at 404 Brady Blvd and riding to the plate sale together.

The public is invited.

If you would like to donate to the family, click here.

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