OGDEN, Utah — The Graham family is still morning from the loss of their son Braxton, who died Friday after contracting the flu.
Braxton, a cadet at the Utah Military Academy, came down with a cold last week, which developed into flu symptoms. They went to the doctor, where he was prescribed medication, but his symptoms worsened. He was better on Thursday, but his condition worsened on Friday. He was flown to Primary Children's Hospital on Friday and went into septic shock and suffered cardiac arrest.
"She [the nurse] told me that they did not have good news, so I knew that he was gone. We waited for his dad to get there and then we were able to go up and be with him," the family recounted of the moments when they found out that he had passed.
Braxton was the first of two cadets to pass away from complications from the flu at the Utah Military Academy in two days.
Academy officials released the following statement to FOX 13:
Over the weekend, UMA lost two cadets due to illness. The entire UMA family is devastated by their loss. Family, friends, students, and staff are in our thoughts and prayers and we are asking for privacy and respect for all of them at this time.
UMA has been working closely with the Weber-Morgan Health Department and they are planning to release a statement following the conclusion of their investigation.
The Graham family told FOX 13 that they have no blame for the Academy at all.
"He now had friends he had gained his teenage personality and become who he was because of attending that school," his family said.
While this is a tough time for the family, they wanted to make sure that everyone knew that this can happen anywhere and affect anyone.
"The reason we are doing this is we want to make people aware of how dangerous the flu can be. We didn’t realize it ourselves until this has happened," they said.
The entire family now wears necklaces with his fingerprint on them, so they can take a part of him with them where ever they go.
The family also told us that Primary Children’s Hospital has helped all of them through this hard time.
“He was an amazing young man and we’re gonna miss him,” the family said. “We have to think of how happy he and grandpa are to be reunited, but we miss them both.”
The family's GoFundMe page can be found here.
The family of the cadet who died Saturday has not spoken publicly, but has given permission to share their GoFundMe as well.