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LOWELL — A 4-year-old Lowell girl is the suspected victim of the second flu-associated pediatric death in Middlesex County this season, and the third in the state.
McDonough Funeral Home confirmed Wednesday morning that Puthiraksmey “Raksmey” Sopheak, who died Saturday at Lowell General Hospital, was the child whose flu-related death was reported to state health officials Tuesday.
Funeral Director Jack McDonough said the family is requesting privacy and declined to speak with a reporter.
The young girl’s father, Sopheak Paak, told WCVB Tuesday night that Raksmey became sick last week and he brought her to Lowell General Hospital last Tuesday when her fever reached 99 degrees and she was coughing up blood. He said he was told she had the flu, and they were sent home with orders to give her acetaminophen, known by the brand name Tylenol.
A grieving and emotional Paak told WCVB Raksmey seemed better at first, but took a sharp turn for the worse on Saturday. He called 911 and an ambulance rushed her back to the hospital, where she later died. Paak said he worried that Raksmey, having just returned from Cambodia in September, may have suffered from another illness, and was awaiting final word from the state medical examiner on the cause of her death.
“We offer our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family over the tragic loss of their daughter,” Lowell General Hospital spokesman Will Courtney said in an emailed statement.
“Patient privacy rules prohibit us from commenting any further at this time.”
According to an obituary from McDonough Funeral Home, Raksmey was born at Lowell General Hospital Dec. 30, 2014, the daughter of Paak and Sokkruy Yang, both of Lowell.
Visiting hours will be held Friday beginning at 3 p.m. at Glory Buddhist Temple, located at 24 Cambridge St. A funeral will be held Saturday morning, with a procession leaving the temple at 8 a.m. for Merrimack Crematory in Merrimack, N.H.
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