16-Year-Old Boy Commits Suicide, Family Believes Popular Flu Medicine Is to Blame


An Indiana family is beside themselves with grief after the death of 16-year-old high school wrestler Charlie Harp. They believe a popular prescription medication is to blame.

“Charlie brought so much to our family, and boy was that kid one of a kind,” lamented the teenager’s aunt and legal guardian, Jackie Ray.

Charlie was described as a happy, motivated student-athlete, and exhibited no signs whatsoever of a suicidal trajectory.

Charlie’s aunt brought the teen to the doctor, who confirmed that Charlie did have the flu. Charlie left with a Tamiflu prescription, which he took that same day, Thurs. Jan 25.

Just 24 hours later, the teen was dead. It was Ray’s husband, Brad Ray, who discovered young Charlie in the garage, and it appeared he had taken his own life.

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Charlie’s family was left with a whirlwind of emotions, including the big question of “why?” After scouring the details of Charlie’s recent life, Brad and Jackie realized the one variable that they believe led to Charlie’s death: a deadly reaction to Tamiflu.

As reported by WXIN-TV, the Tamiflu warning label “clearly states pediatric patients may be at an increased risk of confusion or abnormal behavior.”

As Ray began to research the drug, she became outraged that not one medical professional gave her verbal advice on possible side effects.

“I went to the doctor, nobody told me,” Ray told WTHR-TV. “I went to the pharmacist, no one told me.”



While Tamiflu has not released a statement specific to Charlie’s death, they did release the following general information: “Neuropsychiatric events have been reported during the administration of Tamiflu in patients with influenza, especially in children and adolescents.”

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In the wake of Charlie’s abrupt passing, in the midst of burying a boy they deeply love, Charlie’s family is sharing their story in hopes of preventing future teen suicides.

The more research Ray does on Tamiflu, the more she is outraged that the drug is still available to U.S. patients.

“I see articles about all these children who have been harmed and that is when I get mad, because if it’s that big of an issue, why are we not doing something about it? ” Ray declared.

“Why are we still prescribing it and giving it to our children?”

The teenager’s funeral is scheduled for Feb. 1 and a GoFundMe account has been set up on behalf of Charlie’s family.

In the meantime, Charlie’s family has found a slice of encouragement in the well-wishes, love, and financial support from their community.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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