Tennessee family says young father died from flu


WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Williamson County family says the flu took the life of their loved one.

Friday marks one week since 33-year-old Craig Childress was laid to rest.

His brother Trey told News 2 it still seems unimaginable. The Franklin native was a caring brother, son and father who family members believed had a long life ahead of him.

“Perfectly healthy. This come out of nowhere,” he said.

Just two weeks before Christmas, Trey said his brother came down with the flu.

(Courtesy: Childress family)

“He didn’t go to the doctor. He thought he could tough it out, I guess. He didn’t get the flu shot this year,” Childress said.

He said his brother’s symptoms quickly deteriorated.

“After the flu, it kind of settled into his chest, and he started getting pneumonia, and he had some trouble breathing,” Childress said.

He said Craig finally went to the doctor and was prescribed antibiotics, but on Dec. 30, the family knew he needed more help.

“On the 30th of December, we had a Christmas gathering, and at that point, he was so out of breath and so tired he had to point to things. He couldn’t talk a lot without being out of breath,so that night my father actually took him to Williamson Medical,” Childress explained.

He told News 2 Craig was given Tamaflu, but he wasn’t getting enough rest for his lungs to heal.

After a week at Williamson Medical Center, Craig was flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville where he had more complications and had to be put on dialysis. Childress said his brother ultimately had a massive stroke.

“It hurts. It still seems unreal,” he said.

As much as the Childress family hurts, they are making a plea.

“A lot of people in my family don’t get the flu shot because sometimes we think we are invincible, you know, and apparently this year, the flu epidemic, it doesn’t discriminate against age. Please go get your flu shot. I don’t want anyone to have to go through any of this with one of their loved ones.”

Craig leaves behind his 9-year-old son, Hudson.