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ST. GEORGE — Two weeks ago, a St. George family thought their 5-year-old daughter had the flu. It turned out to be something much worse, and now people across the state are rallying around her family as she fights for her life.
When Kycie Terry came down with flu-like symptoms, her parents thought she was fighting the same bug her older brothers had. But Kycie kept getting worse, and a trip to the emergency room and a flight to Primary Children’s Hospital revealed she had undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes.
Her situation was so bad that she suffered two seizures and extensive brain damage. The little girl who once loved singing, dancing and cheerleading was put on a breathing tube and fights to make small improvements each day.
“She loves to get dressed up, she loves to dance,” said Josh Terry, Kycie’s father. “She’d paint her fingernails every day if you let her.”
Kycie is far from the bubbly little girl she was two weeks ago, but she’s showing signs of improvement. Like the movement of her arm — once a simple task, but now some of the most purposeful movement she’s made in weeks.
Kycie’s parents said in the midst of all the madness, they’re finding good.
“We’ve got to look for some good in what’s happened with Kycie,” Josh Terry said. “She’s the sweetest girl.”
Kycie’s story has inspired fundraisers by strangers, family and friends alike. From fingernail wraps to haircuts and cupcakes, “Kisses for Kycie” is contagious.
“It just shows what a great community St. George is. What Utah is,” Josh said.
We've got to look for some good in what's happened with Kycie. She's the sweetest girl.
–Josh Terry, father
Neighbors have decorated the family's home in purple — Kycie’s favorite color. This week, Kycie’s preschool class made sure her Valentine's Day box was full, even though she isn't there.
“We do still sense that every day as we come in and we’re pulling out our crayon boxes and Kycie’s crayon box is right there,” said Jani Weir, Kycie’s teacher.
Kycie’s absence is felt in a very significant way, Weir said.
“Her energy that she brings, the life that she brings, her friendship that she brings to each of us,” she said.
But her fight is teaching them all a lesson.
“Her courage and her strength builds us up,” said Weir.
Those interested in following Kycie’s journey can check out her Facebook page, Kisses for Kycie, where her family posts daily updates.