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Cause of 3-year-old Pine River girl's death identified

While fighting what appeared to be a normal flu virus, 3-year-old Maria Jillian Borland of Pine River mysteriously stopped breathing and died March 4, leaving her family to wonder about the cause.

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Maria Jillian Borland
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While fighting what appeared to be a normal flu virus, 3-year-old Maria Jillian Borland of Pine River mysteriously stopped breathing and died March 4, leaving her family to wonder about the cause.

Tristan and Jill Borland's family experienced a tumult of emotions as they struggled with the loss of a loved one, and the birth of their fifth daughter, Lucy Faith Borland, on March 11, a week after Maria's death. After a difficult wait, autopsy results identified a cause of Maria's death, putting some questions to rest for the Borlands.

Following is an entry by Jill Borland in the family's blog - Lossandbirth.wordpress.com - where their struggles are being chronicled.

 

Myocarditis - posted March 31, 2016

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We received the call today that we've been anxiously awaiting and dreading for the past few weeks. The coroner called with Maria's official cause of death.

Maria was diagnosed with Influenza A that for some reason migrated to her heart causing Myocarditis. Myocarditis causes inflammation and damage to the heart tissue, which is what ultimately led to her death.

In my brief research of Myocarditis, I keep coming across words like, "extremely rare" and "uncommon." Though certain symptoms may present themselves, most cases of Myocarditis present no symptoms.

When the paramedics arrived the night of Maria's death, the first heart "rhythm" they found was PEA. PEA essentially means that her heart was producing a normal electrical impulse, yet her heart was not contracting or pumping.

Again, when a person's first detectable rhythm is PEA, they have an extremely poor prognosis unless a quickly reversible cause of the PEA is identified. There is no quick reversal to a viral infection.

To some extent I am relieved by this information. It helps to ease some of our panic for our other children being at risk. Maria's death was not caused by a genetic defect. It was not caused by something commonly associated with Influenza or other regularly occurring infections.

This relieves some of the possible guilt associated with the death of a child. From everything we've been told, we couldn't have seen this coming. Even if we had been at the hospital, there is very little that could have been done to save her.

Only, my girl is still gone. Oh, how I miss her.

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