Luca Calanni went into cardiac arrest after the flu attacked his heart

By Georgia Slater
Updated January 15, 2020
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Credit: Family Handout

A New York boy died Saturday from flu-related complications just one month after celebrating his 11th birthday.

Before contracting the flu, Luca Calanni of Hamburg, New York was an overall healthy child, his family told ABC-affiliate WKBW.

“He was vaccinated, and we did everything possible to prevent and help him,” his mother, Ashley Calanni, explained.

Luca went to the doctor three days in a row after coming down with the flu early last week, the outlet reported.

He was taken to Oishei Children’s Hospital Wednesday for fluids after he was diagnosed with septic shock. At the time, Luca seemed to be doing much better, his mother shared.

Days later, however, Luca went into cardiac arrest as the flu began to attack his heart. According to the Erie County Department of Health, Luca died Saturday at the hospital.

“The wonderful staff did everything they could to help him. We cannot thank them enough,” the Calanni family shared of the doctors and nurses at the facility.

Following his passing, Luca’s family and community are remembering him as the “wonderful young man” that he was.

Luca “positively impacted all those around him,” the boy’s school district wrote on their Facebook page Monday.

“I want him to be remembered for the wonderful boy he was, and not just another flu-related death,” Ashley told the outlet. “He was loved by so many, and was an amazing brother to his three sisters.”

To honor Luca, neighborhoods in Western New York joined in “lighting up the night orange” by changing all porch lights to the color orange.

“We don’t want Luca to become just a statistic,” his mother added.

According to Erie County Health Commissioner Dr, Gale Burstein, Luca was the second child to die from the flu in Erie County in 15 years, NBC-affiliate WGRZ reported.

However, he added, “We are seeing much more flu this season compared to other years.”

Donations can be made to Luca’s foundation at the following address:

Luca S. Calanni Foundation

c/o Summit Wealth Management Inc.

35 East Main Street

Fredonia, New York 14063

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This article originally appeared on People.com