Kathy Kucuk, 34, from Noosa, came down with a virus along with her husband Fatih and their one-year-old daughter Zoe.
The rest of the family recovered, but Kathy got worse. After attending her local hospital, she was diagnosed with viral myocarditis and airlifted to Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane.
Viral myocarditis is a severe viral infection that causes inflammation and weakening of the heart muscle.
In Ms Kucuk’s case, blood tests revealed the myocarditis was brought on after she had contracted Epstein Barr virus, one of the most common viruses in humans.
In a GoFundMe page launched to help the family, Kathy’s sister-in-law Rachael Welch explained the rapidity with which the disease progressed, describing Kathy as an otherwise “healthy, vital woman – your everyday 34-year-old young mother” until the illness struck.
“[Kathy] had immediate surgery to put a device on her heart that would keep it going,” she wrote.
Ms Kucuk was put on life support and a further five surgeries were performed in the space of just 48 hours, including open-heart surgery and a leg amputation due to clotting complications.
Tragically, less than three weeks after falling ill, she lost her battle against the disease on Monday night.
“We are beyond devastated,” Ms Welch wrote on the GoFundMe page.
“Kathy was in her sixth surgery and she fought so hard to be here but it was just too long and too hard on her.”
According to the Myocarditis Foundation, the disease is rare but accounts for between eight and 12 per cent of unexpected and sudden deaths in otherwise healthy adults.
Whilst the GoFundMe page was originally launched to help the Kucuk family during the time Kathy was in hospital, it has remained open.
“Our campaign has not ended, nor has our goal,” Ms Welch writes.
“We are now focused on helping Kathy’s husband and daughter move through this terrible period with less worry and stress.
“Viral myocarditis doesn’t discriminate age, sex, or health status.
“It is truly an illness that strikes from nowhere with such devastating consequences.”