PARK CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – 8 Year Old Mackenzie Coyne of Park City died Sunday shortly after testing positive for influenza A. Her family said it progressed quickly over the weekend, even though she had a flu shot. Now the community is coming together for her family to help.
She celebrated her birthday last Friday when she told her dad she was a little under the weather. On Saturday her family urged her to rest and she did get sick once. They assumed she was sick like most kids get. By Sunday they noticed something was wrong and took her to the urgent care where she tested positive for influenza A.
Family friend Carrie Prater said that an ambulance rushed her to the hospital 20 minutes later, but things deteriorated fast. Shortly after arriving she was gone even though doctors tried to revive her.
“Literally went from bad to worse to she was gone.” said Prater. “It’s very unreal at this point.”
Utah Department of Health said there are tests they still need to run before they will confirm if the flu was directly related to her death. Her family was told by doctors that she could have had a secondary infection that caused her major problems, but the flu could have weakened her immune system.
Mackenzie was a second grader at Trailside Elementary. Schools is out this week but on Monday grief councilors will be on hand to help any kids who need it.
Her teachers Laurent Fiorina and Heidi Kaiserman said they too are shocked and devastated by this loss. They said students will handle this loss differently, but many will have trouble understanding because they just saw her last Friday.
“We ate lunch together for her birthday we all sang happy birthday,” said Kaiserman. “We are truly lucky that she popped into our lives and touched us what a gift…what a gift.”
The Coyne family moved to Park City eight months ago, but were overwhelmed and shocked by the outpouring of support from community members. A GoFundMe to help build a memorial in Park City that people can visit because her family plans to have her buried back in Kansas.
A memorial service will be held for Mackenzie at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1505 White Pine Canyon Road, Hwy 224, in Park City Thursday.