-- A Las Vegas kindergartner who died days after coming down with the flu felt well enough to play outside 24 hours before she collapsed, her father told ABC News.
"In fact, she was playing outside that afternoon with my wife and even made a comment that it was 'the most fun time ever,'" Driscoll said.
That morning, the Driscolls took her to an urgent care center, where she got another albuterol treatment and was given a steroid to help her breathe, Driscoll said. He went to work, and his wife stayed home to take care of Kiera.
Kiera's mother tucked her into bed a few hours later for a nap, and turned away to turn on a vaporizer when Kiera said, "I can't breathe. It's hard to breathe," Driscoll said. Then, the little girl collapsed and passed out.
"Their working diagnosis was that a mucus plug of thick mucus got coughed up and clogged, lodged in her trachea, preventing her from being able to breathe," Driscoll said.
The little girl's elementary school celebrated her life last week by dressing in purple, releasing purple balloons and eating frozen yogurt, according to KNTV, ABC's affiliate in Las Vegas. "Frozen" was Kiera's favorite movie, and a stuffed Olaf doll sat in her seat at school after her death, according to the station.
Laurel Beckstead, the headmaster of the American Heritage Academy, where Kiera went to school, told KNTV the death was shocking. Beckstead is also Kiera's aunt.
"She went home happy, healthy, and then to get a phone call that Monday that she had gone to Quick Care Monday morning, released and went home and then later collapsed, was almost a shocking disbelief," Beckstead told the station. "How can this be happening to Kiera?"
Dr. Frank Esper, a pediatric infectious disease physician at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, said death's like Kiera's can be confusing, and some states require autopsies when the explanation is unclear. He said it's important to remember that influenza can cause death, especially in people with underlying lung and heart conditions -- which may not be diagnosed. People at risk for complications, including young children, pregnant women, people with asthma, and the elderly, should contact their physician at the first sign of flu, he said. They may be prescribed antiviral medications to shorten their illness and prevent it from worsening.
"Though Kiera's passing has shattered the world her birth created for me, the joy of raising her was worth it," Driscoll said of his daughter at her funeral. He shared the eulogy on a fundraising page set up for Kiera to express his gratitude for the love and support his family received
"Vaccines help save lives, and they help keep other people from getting infected as well," he said. "We always want people to be vaccinated."
He said his family has taken comfort in the fact that his wife knew CPR and did everything she could. And he knows he'll see his little girl again someday, he said.
"If there's something we can say to someone going through something similar," he said. "Hold on to your faith. Rely on family and community, and never take a moment for granted."