Lucy’s story – Influenza in children

Children can become seriously ill from influenza and in some cases, it can be fatal. This was the case for 2-year-old Lucy. In this video, her mother Rhiannon shares Lucy’s story, to warn other parents about the serious risks of flu in young children.



I guess a lot of parents are probably like I was, and didn't realise the impact that influenza can have on kids and on entire families. And I also never considered the fact that influenza actually kills more kids every year than those diseases that we as parents are really, really afraid of, like meningococcal. 

My name is Rhiannon, and in 2019, my 2-year-old daughter, Lucy passed away from complications of influenza.

Lucy was born just before Mother's Day in 2017. 

She was my second child and my second daughter and I remember spending that Mother's Day thinking that I was the luckiest mum alive. 

Sophie just doted on her baby sister. 

Ollie came along later after we lost Lucy. 

It was pretty bittersweet that he will never know his big sister and his big sister will never know him. 

She was the most vibrant, sassy little 2-year-old I knew. 


She had dolls prams, so I used to put her in there with little cushion and a blanket and push her around.


Everybody loved her and everybody really, really misses her. 

Where's Lucy? 


In the sky. 


Up until five days before Lucy died, she was a very healthy 2-year-old. 

We were in Perth. 

We'd come up from the country for a couple of days, and both of the girls became unwell. 

Both of them had temperatures, so I popped them into bed, but I was checking on them throughout the night. 

When I checked on Lucy at about nine o'clock, I noticed that she had vomited, so I went to pick her up and when I picked her up, I realised that she actually wasn't asleep, she was unconscious. 

I called an ambulance. 

The ambulance came and Lucy began seizing. 

She seized the whole way to the Perth Children's Hospital. 

They were able to stop them, however, Lucy just wouldn't wake up. 

They started to do a little bit more investigating into why. 

We found out the next day that Lucy was positive to influenza B. 

Later on that night, we found out that the influenza B had actually caused quite significant damage to her brain. 

It became quite obvious to both the doctors, and to us that Lucy wasn't going to recover and that we were going to lose our baby. 

So we laid down with her and we went to sleep. 

The next thing I remember, it was three o'clock in the morning and the nurse was waking me up to tell me that Lucy had gone. 

We then had to leave the hospital. 

We left without our baby, and we had to go home and tell Sophie that Lucy was no longer with us which is not something that she understood at the time and not something that she understood for a very long time after that. 

It's too late for us to do anything for Lucy now, but by getting our message across and telling the story of Lucy, if that just saves one other family from going through what our family has been through, then that is pretty amazing, and it's a really, really amazing legacy for Lucy to leave.

Text on screen:

The influenza vaccine is free for children aged 6 months to under 5 years.

Talk to your health professional and book today.

Video type:
Publication date:
Date last updated:
Part of a collection:

Help us improve

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.