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Sumner County 11-year-old's Life Taken By Flu--Mikayla Lewis

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HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. - The flu claims another life in Middle Tennessee. Tonight, a Sumner County family is grieving the loss of their little girl taken by the flu yesterday afternoon. Savannah Hyden was only 11-years-old. She is Tennessee's 12th fatality of the flu season. Hyden's parents have a warning for other families.

Free flu shots are being offered at Meharry 12th South Community Clinic. The State Health Department continues to stress the importance of flu shots this year, because H1N1 is back. In 2009 there wasn't a vaccine, and now there is. Many aren't vaccinated and the virus can take a life in just a matter of days, like Savannah Hyden.

 Hyden was excelling in her gifted classes at Knox Doss Middle School in Hendersonville.

Steven Hyden said, " She was a future leader, she never waited for things, she made things happen."

In just a few days, the Hyden's say their healthy little girl got sick with H1N1.

Hyden said, " A little tired, thought she might have a cold." 

Steven Hyden says in just 3 days, his daughter went from feeling fine, fighting a fever and then Wednesday arrived.

Hyden explained, " I heard a thud and I went into the room and she was laying there. She actually stopped breathing and her pulse was gone. She left us on the bed."

Steven Hyden called 911 and his daughter was taken to Vanderbilt Medical Center.

"The best this country has to offer to the best people, there was nothing they could do," Hyden added.

Savannah's mother Natasha was in Texas finishing up her graduate degree. She flew to Nashville as soon as she found out.

Natasha Renee said, " I don't remember the plane ride."

Renee will never forget her daughter, who loved art and playing in the middle school band.

Natasha Renee explained, " I am so proud, and I respect her decision to expand herself and never have to feel anymore pain."

Jayden Galy says, " I'm really sad and I miss her, everyone needs to get their flu shots."

Savannah's parents agree with their nephew Jayden, who was close to their daughter. They were hesitant to get the flu shot for anyone in their family, including Savannah, but want others to learn from their tragedy.

Steven and Natasha said, "Any precaution you can do, hug your children and don't take them for granted. It's just so frail. If you're against the flu shot, don't wait if there are any signs that your child or loved ones are ill."

Meharry Medical School is offering free flu shots every Thursday. The Hyden family is holding a memorial service this Saturday for Savannah and a fund is also set up.

Donations can be made to any Regions Bank location to the Savannah Memorial fund or online by clicking HERE or HERE.

A celebration of Savannah's life will be held at the Lighthouse Event Center, 133 Sanders Ferry Road, Hendersonville, TN 37075 on Saturday, January 11, 2014. The family will receive visitors from 1-3pm with a short tribute to Savannah held at 2:30pm and each guest may release a balloon with a message in her honor.

Follow Mikayla Lewis on Twitter @MikaylaFox17

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