More than 250 people, including family, friends, and classmates, packed the Lighthouse Event Center in Hendersonville Saturday to celebrate the life of a girl who touched the lives of many.Savannah Hyden died from complications of the flu Wednesday. Her death is the eleventh related to the flu in Tennessee.
Her family said the 11-year-old Knox Doss Middle School student was in perfect health when she contracted deadly virus.
\Within about a 72-hour period she lost her life, leaving behind a legacy that will not be soon forgotten."She was my light and will always be my light," said her father, Steven Hyden.Saturday was not just about grieving, but celebrating the life of an accomplished student who also displayed many talents."Since she was 9 years old was doing lamp-working, blowing glass, any medium you put in her hands just something amazing came out of it," her father noted.Savannah was not vaccinated. Her parents admit they were not always big fans of the vaccinations, but now after the sudden and painful death of their angle, they are urging everyone to get a flu shot."I'm not a flu shot advocate by any means, but with the amount of deaths that have occurred this year, I would say I would go get a flu shot," explained Mr. Hyden.To further commemorate Savannah's legacy, loved ones wrote messages and attached it to purple balloons, which is Savannah's favorite color.
They released the balloons to the heavens, hoping their message of love reaches to the young girl who will forever be missed."She is in you and she's in me and we all need to express her and her light," said her mother, Natasha Hyden.Hyden's family will have a smaller gathering Sunday in the Smokey Mountains to say their final goodbyes.
The family has set up an account at Regions Bank for donations to the Savannah Memorial Fund.