Pugh urges flu shots as she grieves beloved granddaughter

The montage illustrating the GoFundMe page honoring Emma Splan, who died Monday at the age of 6.

NORWALK, Conn. — Mary Pugh wants everyone to get a flu shot.

Pugh’s 6-year-old granddaughter, Emma Splan, died suddenly Monday; Pugh said she hadn’t been that sick.

“It didn’t take long,” Pugh said, explaining that Emma’s sickness began with a runny nose.

“It’s not OK,” she said. “It’s more virulent than usual, get to doctor and start drinking fluids.”

Make the child drink the fluids even if he or she doesn’t want to, she said.

Services for Emma are from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Collins Funeral Home at 92 East Ave.

“Emma’s greatest trait was her big heart and her unwavering desire to be kind and do the right thing. She stuck up for her friends and always made sure everyone was ok,” her obituary states.

In lieu of flower’s, Emma’s family has requested donations to a GoFundMe campaign, “that will be used to donate to Emma’s favorite local charities; PAWS in Norwalk where she read to the animals and Emma’s wonderful school, Columbus Magnet School, where she can continue to help the children she loved.”

“Emma was so super special….I was honored to be her grandmother ‘Mom’- we did so much together,” Pugh wrote as a comment on the GoFund Me page.

Mary Pugh and her late granddaughter, Emma Splan, in a photo Pugh posted to Facebook.

“I am glad we took so many pictures of her….although we drove her a little crazy taking pictures of her all the time. We could not help it…we are amazed at her beauty,” Pugh wrote. “She loved to eat at Boston Market and they were so sweet to her as she learned to order her own food, get a lid to take leftovers home, etc. She made EVERYONE smile.”

The GoFundMe campaign had raised $60,271 as of 11:23 p.m. Saturday.

“Dave and I are in complete awe by how generous everyone has been during this nightmare and there aren’t any words to express how truly grateful we are for all of your support. Emma was the kindest, gentlest soul you’d ever meet,” Christy Pugh wrote.

Get the flu shot, Mary Pugh said Thursday.

“I am just concerned they are telling people the flu is letting up… it’s killing people,” she said.

The Norwalk Health Department is still offering flu shots.

“If you have not yet gotten a flu shot and would like to be vaccinated, please call the Health Department at (203) 854-7776, and staff will work to schedule an appointment at a convenient time for you,” a press release said this week. “… The flu vaccine offers protection against seasonal and H1N1 flu, and everyone older than 6 months is encouraged to be vaccinated. Children between 6 months and 18 years of age can receive the vaccine free of charge. Flu shots are free for adults who have Medicare Part B, Medicaid, Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, ConnectiCare, and United.”

The Day Street Community Health Center is also offering flu shots during regular hours, according to a message on its answering machine.

If your child is sick, make them “drink, drink, drink,” whether they want to or not, Pugh said. Get electrolytes into them and if they begin to vomit or they have diarrhea, take them to the doctor.

“Go to the doctor, insist on Tamiflu,” Pugh said.

“Emma loved life….she loved to help people…she loved to go to picking farms, she loved feeding horses and birds….she loved reading to cats and dogs at the shelter… she enjoyed it all…and all people,” Pugh wrote on Facebook.


The rest of Emma’s obituary:

“Emma loved to sing, cook, and draw. She loved ballet, princesses, dressing up, playing with her dolls, playdates with her many friends, skiing, ice skating, riding horses, and traveling. Emma loved school, her teachers, playing kitty and chase on the playground, and recess. She especially loved riding the school bus. She was a budding fashionista who would draw beautiful fashions and put together amazing ensembles, complete with “scessories”. She wanted to be either a teacher or a popstar when she grew up and spent a lot of time making “youtube” videos filled with painting and baking instructions. Emma loved being pampered and getting her nails done and ‘ssages’. She had the most beautiful and soft golden mermaid hair. She liked to ski and go over jumps. She was an animal whisperer and all the animals loved to get close to her, especially dogs, cats, deer, and butterflies. Emma recently started getting an allowance and wanted to donate it to all the kids who didn’t have a home or toys. Emma was always up for an adventure and we as her family wish with all our hearts that we could go on more of them together. She was braver, nicer and kinder than we ever could be and never ceased to amaze us with her generosity.

“Emma is survived by her parents, Christy “Mama” Pugh and Dave “Dada” Splan, doggy-sister Zoey, Grandparents Mary “Mom” Pugh, Popi Pugh, Tata Marie Milcent, Sydney “Nanny” Splan, and Angela “Grandma” Herrera, her aunts and uncles; Wendy & Ken Collins, Mike & Helene Pugh, Olivia & Lexa Occelli, and Heather Bristol, her 5 cousins, Lhiannon, Gavin, Ryan Collins, and Ryan & Claire Pugh and her many adopted aunts, uncles; Sarah & Erik Lutkus, Allison Palloto, Angel & Katie Garcia, Nina & Brad Card, Brad Davis, “Auntie Jelly” Jill, Bob Duff, Katrin R, Eileen & Steve Rogers, and especially her adopted doggy brothers and sister, Mickey, Benny, Macey, Gus, Clyde and Alex. She was predeceased by her doggy brothers and sisters Skyler, Cartman, Riley, Kody and Archie. She will be missed by everyone who knew her.”


Piet Marks February 24, 2018 at 9:49 am

Mary, that would of course be Gloria as well. We just cannot bring to mind what it would be like to lose someone so young and so close.

Mary C Pugh February 24, 2018 at 9:54 am

Thanks Piet….we are so shocked… it must be a little like PTSD…. zombie feelings, grief…a smile when someone tells us of some little thing she did that made them happy.

Mary C Pugh February 27, 2018 at 7:51 pm

Thank you for your kind words.. it is incredible for us to lose her….we are still in shock. Not sure when that will lift…. maybe it will be worse when it does.

Lisa Wilson Grant April 20, 2018 at 8:55 pm

I am so sorry for your loss, I think its a wonderful to make cat quilts for her classmates, I am going to do some blocks for this.

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