South Carolina Middle School Student Dies from Flu-Related Complications: 'It Was Quick'

Arden Bradley was 13 years old

Arden Bradley
Photo: Family Handout

A 13-year-old girl from South Carolina has died from flu complications.

Arden Bradley passed away on Friday from natural complications from the flu, Cherokee County coroner Dennis Fowler confirmed to PEOPLE.

The young girl, who was a student at Gaffney Middle School, died at the Atrium Health-Cleveland Hospital in Shelby, North Carolina, according to the Cherokee County Coroner’s Office.

Bradley’s grandfather, Don Johnson, told WYFF News 4 that Bradley got sick on Jan. 27.

When she didn’t feel any better days later, the family brought her to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with the flu then bilateral pneumonia, he said.

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“It was quick,” Johnson recalled. “It was an unbelievably gruesome thing to watch as they tried to resuscitate her. But her family was there. The people who loved her were there with her.”

He told the local news outlet that Bradley did not have any pre-existing conditions.

“Don’t be cavalier with this thing called the flu,” he cautioned. “Hug your babies every chance you get. Hug that baby because you don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring.”

Johnson described Bradley as “always just a joy to be around” in an interview with WSPA 7 News.

“She loved nothing more than to be with her family. She was sort of the glue that held the family together,” he said.

“She was my heart, there’s no doubt about it,” the grandfather continued. “I took her to school every day of her life and picked her up every afternoon, so mornings and afternoons are going to be tough.”

According to her obituary, Bradley “loved her family, K-POP music and especially BTS, painting, photography, animals and nutcrackers.”

Her funeral was held on Monday.

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