NewsLocal News

Actions

Flu related deaths connect families half a world apart

Posted: 5:54 PM, Jan 13, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-13 17:54:26-05

Akea Hollingsworth, of Buffalo, doesn't know Luca Calanni's family. But, she said she does know what they're going through.

"I miss Maya. I wish everyday she was here," the 43-year-old explained.

Maya was Akea's only child. She died in 2009 from complications of the flu and MRSA. Maya was only nine-years-old. Calanni died over the weekend from complications with the flu.

"It's hard. It brings back all the memories that I went through."

Akea posted her personal experience to the 7 Eyewitness News Facebook page, and half a world away, a mom in Australia could relate. Angela McDermott responded "So sorry. We lost our beautiful Georgie in 2011, three months after her seventh birthday to the flu."

Screen Shot 2020-01-13 at 10.46.17 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-01-13 at 10.46.36 AM.png

"You're happy you're not alone, but it's a club you don't want someone else to join either," Akea explained to Reporter Ali Touhey. "They understand what you're speaking of, where as a lay person wouldn't," she added.

Akea said she only recently started going to therapy to cope with her loss.

"I'm wrapping my head around it again because it's not fair to lose your child to something most of us recover from. My condolences go out to his parents. I'm crying now but you learn to cope."