A New Jersey father serving in the United States military was flown home from his station in Germany over the weekend just before his 6-year-old daughter passed away from the flu.
According to members of the family’s community, Nevaeh Hernandez’s father was immediately sent home to say goodbye when he learned that her condition was deteriorating. On Tuesday, the New Jersey Health Department confirmed her passing is the second pediatric death in the state during this flu season. Her death will be added to the nationwide list of flu-related deaths that continue to grow with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that 63 children have died from the illness.
A GoFundMe page has been set up in memory of Hernandez and in an effort to help pay for her funeral services, with her family writing, “Today this precious angel was tragically taken from us. Nevaeh was a beautiful 6 year old full of life who brought happiness to all who surrounded her.” All across their town, hearts are breaking from the devastating loss.
“It’s unbelievable. This is a very painful moment. It’s very painful to see a little girl just starting her life and passing this way,” Marta Claudio, a parent of one of Hernandez’s classmates, said. “She was a great girl. She was the light of their life, and the father was all about that baby. Loves his daughter to death.”
Following her passing, North Bergen School District has pledged to disinfect all surfaces with bleach solution. The superintendent is also urging parents against sending their children to school if they are exhibiting any flu-like symptoms as an extra precaution. In effort to make sure more students receive them, the school will offer free flu shots on Thursday.