A Melbourne dad has begged other parents to protect their children from the flu after his eight-year-old daughter died last week.
Rosie Brealey loved pink and milkshakes and playing with her brothers. Now the darling little girl is dead, the youngest victim of Australia’s worst ever flu season.
Her devastated father, Christian Brealey, says her death has ripped a hole in their hearts.
Remembering a little angel
“We are devastated by the loss of our beautiful, loving little angel,” Mr Brealey told the Herald Sun.
“Words cannot describe the depths of our grief. We want to thank our friends and family and the broader community for all the messages of love and compassion. We are so grateful for your support.”
He begged other parents to have their children immunised against the flu. Authorities have already warned that Australia is in the grips of its worst flu season ever, with 10 people already dead.
Worst flu season ever
“We urge everyone to get their kids immunised against the flu and ask only that our privacy is respected and our family given time and space to grieve,” Mr Brealey said.
Rosie died in Angliss Hospital in Upper Ferntree Gully on Friday last week, only days after coming down with the flu. The Grade Two student from Warragul loved taekwondo and had been planning a camping adventure with her Cub Scout friends.
Her shock death comes two weeks after Melbourne father-of-two Ben Ihlow, 30, died of the flu on Father’s Day. Mum Central understands neither of them had underlying health conditions.
Rosie’s family thought she had a bad cold, never expecting it would take such a terrible and tragic turn.
James Bailey, a friend of Christian’s, has set up a Go Fund Me page to help the family pay for funeral expenses. It has already raised more than $3600.
“His family has suffered a loss this week, losing their precious Rosie Andersen to a simple flu in Melbourne,” James wrote, on the Go Fund Me page. “As the family struggle to come to terms with this loss, we are hoping to raise some donations to show how much we care about Christian and his family, and ease some of the burden during this time.
“We know this would break the biggest and baddest of men!”
Health authorities have previously blamed unvaccinated children for helping spread the flu virus , turning it into a nation-wide epidemic.