Principal remembers local 5th grader who died from H1N1

News 12 at 6 o'clock, October 13, 2009

GROVETOWN, Ga.---A 10-year-old Columbia County girl fought for her life for several weeks before dying from complications from the H1N1 flu virus.

One day she was in class, and the next day she was sick but her teachers never thought it would be her last day at school.

Saturday 10-year-old Summer Rockefeller died from complications with the flu.

The fifth grader was a new student at Euchee Creek this year. Even though she only spent about three weeks in class...the little girl left quite an impression.

The loss of the fifth grader has been tough on everyone. You can especially feel it in the halls of Euchee Creek Elementary School.

"This is very hard. It's very hard for teachers to think about losing a student," says Principal Wanda Golosky.

As far as her family knew, Summer Rockefeller was a perfectly healthy 10-year-old girl. Full of life and love, until she caught the flu.

"She went in initially with some flu like symptoms and then there's some pneumonia that developed and lots of other medical complications during the six weeks she was there," says Golosky.

Summer died Saturday at Egleston Children's Hospital in Atlanta. She was only a student at the school for a few weeks, but they'll never forget that smile.

"She was a sweet little girl, you can tell from her pictures and just the memories the teachers have of her that she was a very nice child," adds Golosky.

It's made the H1N1 virus Really hit home. "We've been hearing about it on national news and now we have it in our own neighborhood," says Golosky.

Summer's death has schools reassuring parents the flu is on their minds. "I think the main thing parents need to know is that every school in the county is working hard to maintain good, clean, hygienic atmosphere," says Golosky.

But no matter how clean these hallways are, something will always be missing. "A tremendous loss for the family and certainly for our school community," adds Golosky.

The school staff is taking up donations to help the family with medical expenses. Harlem Baptist Church is also hosting a spaghetti fundraiser next month to help raise money for the family. It is scheduled for November 5th, at the church.

A spokesperson for the family says they don't believe Summer had any previous illnesses or problems.


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