BARTON - There’s nothing like a small community to rally around someone during their time of need and that is exactly what is happening for the Nicole Matten family.
Matten’s family is planning a benefit dance and raffle for Feb. 11 at the Elks’ Club. There is also an account set up at Community National Bank.
The family will use the money to cover funeral expenses and for a headstone for their daughter, seven-year-old Kaylynne Matten, who passed away Dec. 6, four days after her Well Child Checkup.
“She had her routine physical and they asked if I wanted the flu shot and I said, might as well,” recalled Nicole Matten, during an interview Friday afternoon. “I’ve never been anti-vaccine or anything.”
Saturday, Dec.3, the family went to Burlington. The next day the family went to her husband’s company Christmas party. Kaylynne complained of a headache on Saturday and then again on Sunday. On Sunday, Nicole Matten gave Kaylynne Tylenol, returned home and the family made Christmas ornaments.
The Mattens finished the ornaments and made lunch. However, Kaylynne didn’t have much of an appetite and fell asleep on the stairs while decorating the banister. An hour or so later, Kaylynne woke and complained she didn’t feel well.
“I felt her head, she was hot,” said Nicole Matten who added that Kaylynne still had Tylenol in her system. “Her fever was 102.3.”
Nicole Matten waited a little while and then spoke to the on-call doctor who said to alternate Tylenol and Motrin every three hours, to keep an eye on her and she should be okay. On Monday, Kaylynne woke up and used the bathroom and was somewhat disoriented.
“She said ‘Mommy I feel like I don’t know where I am.’ I said, 'It’s okay,'" Nicole Matten said. "I contributed that to the fever."
Kaylynne slept most of Monday afternoon with the exception of a few minutes when she colored with her sister Brooklynne. Monday night, Kaylynne complained of body aches and wanted to go to the bathroom but couldn’t. Kaylynne’s body, on Tuesday, was cold and her legs and hands were blotchy.
Nicole Matten called the doctor’s office who said to bring her in. By the time they got her dressed, her lips were a little purple. Nicole Matten and her mother, Linda Kirk, rushed Kaylynne to the doctor’s office in Newport. However, they didn’t make it in time and Kaylynne stopped breathing by Columbia Forest Products.
“She stopped breathing in my arms,” said Nicole Matten. She called her husband at work who met them at the doctor’s office. He sat with Kaylynne the entire time doctor’s worked on his daughter.
“We went to Dr. Mosley’s office, I ran her in and they took right a hold of her. Everyone at the doctor’s office was right there working on her. They transferred her from Dr. Mosley’s to the hospital in the back of an ambulance. They kept working trying and trying. I don’t know if it was their trauma team or what, but they did an amazing job.”
Nicole Matten believes in her heart that the flu shot caused her daughter’s death, but won’t know for sure until the family gets the autopsy results.
The family stays strong by being there for each other.
“If he’s down I stay strong for him and vice-versa,” said Nicole Matten. They have plans to go to grief counseling. “Right now we’re just keeping her memory alive and smiling at her pictures. When he needs to cry or laugh or anything, I’ve got his back and he’s got mine.”