As extraordinary as the outcome, Alana's story is relatively unremarkable in detail.
On the afternoon of February 1, 2003, 5 1/2 year old Alana Yaksich spent the day with her parents and brothers watching movies, eating sundaes and playing. Alana enjoyed the afternoon feeling healthy and surrounded by her friends and family. Later that evening, Alana developed a 106-degree fever and was rushed to the emergency room. Within hours of her arrival at the local hospital, Alana died of flu-related complications that caused swelling and injury to her brain. Alana had not been vaccinated against the flu.
At the time, the U.S. Center for Disease Control only recommended children 6 months - 23 months receive a yearly flu vaccination. Since 2010, everyone 6 months and older is recommended to receive an annual flu vaccination.
In 2009 Alana’s family established Alana's Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to educating people about the severity of influenza and the importance of vaccinating children against the flu every year.