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Utah woman claims flu shot caused teenage son's death

Published: Friday, Nov. 22 2013 6:55 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah woman says a flu shot caused her son’s death.

Lori Webb put her assertion in her son’s obituary and is warning other families about what she believes are potential hidden dangers of vaccinations.

“I could not believe it,” Webb said. “I never in my life would ever think, ‘Your son is in a coma?’ How does it happen?”

Chandler Blake Webb, 19, was the perfect picture of health, his mother said, and was preparing to submit his papers for a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

However, the day after a physical, tuberculosis test and flu shot, the Brighton High School graduate turned very ill.

Within a few days, he was in the hospital for the second time. Within 24 hours of his second check-in, Webb said her son was in a coma.

He had previously suffered from numerous severe symptoms, including shaking and vomiting.

“This was his first flu shot,” Webb said. “He’d never had one before.”

Chandler Webb’s family ultimately elected to take him off life support, and he died Tuesday after 28 days in the hospital.

“I hate this,” Lori Webb said Friday prior her son’s viewing, tears streaming down her cheeks. “I hate that I have to bury my son.”

Utah Department of Health officials did not go into specifics about the case, though a spokesman said the department was aware of the case.

Another state health official late Friday offered a statement.

“Our epidemiology staff have commented that although they have no evidence of a flu vaccine, or any other kind of vaccine, causing this type of reaction/outcome, they take these reports very seriously and they are thoroughly investigated by the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention),” the statement read.

Webb admitted to reporters that not even all the neurologists on her son’s team agree to blame the flu shot, but she also said every test for a disease came up negative.

“They cannot prove any other thing,” Webb said. “My gut tells me that, too.”

Webb said she believes medical experts from out of state are still looking at Chandler’s brain biopsy. She elected not to have an autopsy conducted.

CDC statistics show influenza as a contributing factor in thousands of deaths every year. Doctors have recommended flu shots to prevent the disease.

Email: aadams@ksl.com

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