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Two People Dead in the Lake Fenton School District Due to ‘Flu-Like’ Symptoms

MSU LiveOn, Flickr

My family and I just returned from vacation in Florida. On the way back we heard on the news that this flu season is one of the worst in over a decade. We were then shocked to discover that there had been two deaths in the Lake Fenton School District, both linked to ‘flu-like’ symptoms.

On December 29, just four days after Christmas, 44-year-old Kirk Beauchamp of Fenton died from what is being described as ‘flu-like’ symptoms.  Kirk was known for his love for his family, and also loved sports.  He is survived by his wife and five children.  My daughter knows his son, as they both are in Kindergarten at West Shore Elementary School.

One day after the death of Kirk Beauchamp, Lake Fenton High School freshman Joshua Polehna with a cough and sore throat.  He passed away less than a week later.  Josh was very involved in the school.  He was a member of the marching band, track and robotics teams.

More than 2,200 people across the nation have been hospitalized so far and 18 children have died from the flu, including three here in Michigan.  My wife and I decided to get our kids flu shots before they returned to school this morning.  Even so, according to Joshua’s parents, the doctor said that getting a flu shot probably wouldn’t have made a difference.  Dave Polehna, Josh’s father said “Sometimes these things happen even when you do all the things right.”

The superintendent of Lake Fenton High School, Wayne Wright, said in a letter to parents that “If students come to school and do not feel well, parents will be contacted and asked to come and take their child home.”  Wright went on to say that the district is continuing to monitor student attendance in relation to the illness, and reassures parents that their children are in a safe environment.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Beauchamp and Polehna families.

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