A family in Arizona is mourning the sudden and tragic loss of a young mother of two who died just two days after she was diagnosed with the flu and given anti-viral medication.
Alani "Joie" Murrieta, 20, had always been healthy, and her unexpected death has resulted in her family warning others to treat symptoms seriously.
"Don't take life for granted. If you feel sick, go to the doctor. Don't wait until your symptoms are so bad there is no turning back," Murrieta's aunt, Stephanie Gonzales, told CBS News. "Know your body."
The Sunday after Thanksgiving, Murrieta was sent home from work after suffering from flu-like symptoms. The next day, she went to an urgent care facility where — after several hours of waiting — she was told she had the flu and was given a prescription for Tamiflu.
Murrieta’s family was not surprised by the diagnosis, as her two children were sick earlier in the week.
"We were all together for Thanksgiving and the little kids got sick, then the adults got sick," Gonzalez told CBS. "It traveled through our family. Everybody kind of got over it. Everybody was fine."
However, when Murrieta tried to rest on Tuesday, her health worsened and she began coughing up blood.
"She looked worried. She told her mom she was having a hard time breathing," Gonzalez told CBS.
Murrieta's mom rushed her to Banner Estrella Medical Center, where she was diagnosed with pneumonia.
"Her oxygen levels were low," Gonzalez told CBS. "They did an X-ray and found out her flu had turned into pneumonia. They gave her antibiotics and an IV drip."
Shortly after, Murrieta lost consciousness and she was placed on a ventilator. Eventually, her heart stopped.
Chaos then ensued as doctors began chest compressions and Murrieta’s mother screamed for her daughter to “fight.” Although the medical team tried to resuscitate the 20-year-old, there was nothing they could do.
"She was gone," Gonzalez told CBS. "We just couldn't believe it. We were in shock."
Murrieta did not get a flu shot; however, based on the 10 percent effectiveness of the most recent flu shot in Australia, doctors are unsure if it would have truly made a difference.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page for funeral expenses.
"I never thought I'd be making arrangements for her funeral," Gonzalez told CBS. "We're so overwhelmed. We cannot believe her story has touched and reached so many people. We are truly amazed."
(Photo: Stephanie Gonzalez via GoFundMe)
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