Special Report: Flu Tragedy
Alvin Beaumont was a soldier fighting in Iraq but returned to Colorado a Father, whose 14-month-old son Jeremy died days earlier fighting the flu. For this family, the epidemic is as tough a battle as the war.
"You want a hero's homecoming?"
Alvin Beaumont, Father
"This was definitely unexpected, definitely."
Loneliness and the holidays drove Alvin's wife Lindsey and the baby living in Germany home to her parents in early November. She always feared Alvin becoming a casualty of war -- not Jeremy with a 104-degree fever.
Lindsey Beaumont, Mother
"Just crankiness, irritability... He just wanted to be with me."
The family says what happened next was unimaginable. Jeremy was brought here to Penrose Community Hospital's emergency room and saw a doctor, who prescribed him anti-virals plus Tylenol and Motrin.
Two days later, the symptoms were gone. The next morning, Lindsey tried waking Jeremy in his crib.
"I just rolled him over and yelled out somebody call 911.
"When they said it was my 14-month-old son, I had to sit down, you know."
The tragedy here, Jeremy might have welcomed home his dad a hero, if he had been vaccinated. His 8-year-old relative wonders about the tragedy.
Jeremy's parents urge others to get their kids vaccinated now. Thursday, 14-month-old Jeremy will be laid to rest. His father Alvin Beaumont is scheduled to fly back to the Persian Gulf on December 30th. His wife, however, is pleading for more time together.