East Texas teen welcomed home after hospitalization from flu - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

East Texas teen welcomed home after hospitalization from flu


An East Texas teen who suffered serious complications from the flu is back home after nearly 3 months in the hospital.

Jennings Neel, 14, fell ill the day after Christmas. She went to the doctor, where she tested positive for the flu. She was sent home with medications, but deteriorated quickly by the following morning and was sent to Children's Medical Center in Dallas.

The Tatum High School freshman was airlifted from the hospital in Marshall to Children's Hospital in Dallas in critical condition. She was determined to have acute pneumonia as a complication from having the flu and placed on a lung bypass to help her body fight the infection.

But Neel battled back, and has come a long way from those frightening first days. On Tuesday evening, family and friends lined Highway 80 in Marshall with to welcome her home as she pulled up in a black stretch SUV limo to a warm welcome home.

"I'm just overwhelmed," Jennings said, after greeting the crowd, many of whom were holding signs in green - her favorite color.

"As a dad, this is like bringing your newborn home from the hospital, so it's an amazing day," says Mark Neel. "It's a long long journey. We're so glad to have her home."

Jennings was supposed to be released from the hospital on Monday, but doctors wanted to wait for her blood pressure to go down.

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