Thursday was a good day for Quinton Kequahtooway.

The 12-year-old was getting ready to go home from hospital after nearly dying from the flu.

“It was a shocker,” said his father, Wesley.

Quinton was admitted to Rosthern Hospital – the family is from Duck Lake – five weeks ago after waking up with a deep, hoarse cough.

When doctors realized how severe the case was, Quinton was taken to Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon.

“When they did all their testing and they told us we were totally in shock. We didn't know this could happen to him,” Wesley said.

Quinton had been healthy; neither the family nor doctors expected the flu to hit him so hard.

Three toddlers have died from the virus in Saskatchewan this flu season including two at RUH in December. Both were two-years-old.

“They were not previously chronic ... they were previously healthy kids. So this is what has alarmed us," Dr. Tanya Holt said.

“The severe illness that we are seeing is unexpected and to be honest, unprecedented from previous years. Even in 2010 with the H1N1 scare we didn’t see this severity of illness."

Since the flu season began in mid-October 42 kids have come to the pediatrics unit with 30 per cent going into intensive care.

Doctors urge parents to vaccinate children, from babies to the age of 16, to prevent more kids from having to go to hospital.

“We're definitely going to get him his flu shot because we don't want to go through this again. And we don't want anybody to go through this at all,” Wesley said.