Memorial held for 8-year-old Park City girl who died after testing positive for influenza

Posted at 9:15 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 23:15:49-05

PARK CITY, Utah - A Park City family held memorial services Thursday for their 8-year-old daughter, who died Sunday after testing positive for the flu.

Mackenzie Coyne had just celebrated her eighth birthday on Friday when she began to feel sick. Family friend Carrie Prater said her symptoms weren’t very severe to begin with, but things took a turn within hours.

“It was tragic, and very fast," Prater said. "I mean, she went from bad to worse to gone very quickly."

The worst happened on Sunday, when Prater said Mackenze’s parents went to check on her and saw that she was quite a bit more sick than before, including discoloration in her fingers. Mackenzie’s parents took her to an urgent care clinic, where she tested positive for influenza A.

Prater said doctors rushed her to the hospital as her condition continued to worsen, but she was gone within an hour of arriving.

“They worked on her for quite a while, and were unable to revive her,” Prater said.

The family said it’s difficult to know whether it was the flu that directly caused Mackenzie’s death. Prater said doctors believe she could have had a secondary infection, and the flu weakened her immune system.

Close to 200 people attended Mackenzie’s memorial Thursday, some saying they didn’t know the family well, but wanted to support them during a tragic time.

Prater said the outpouring of support has been the most amazing part of the tragedy. A GoFundMe page has already raised close to $30,000 in just three days.

“I can’t even describe it,” Prater said. "Anything that’s needed, whether it’s dropping off food, or picking up the kids, taking the dry cleaning, whatever: People have been amazing.”

Mackenzie will be buried in the family’s hometown of Kansas City.