A mum-of-two with no health issues has abruptly died of complications from the flu in what has been described as a "one-in-a-million" case.
Price Meropol McMahon, who has been remembered as a family woman and successful athlete, felt fine just two days before her death — and even ran just under 13kms that day in preparation for the Boston Marathon in April.
However, last Monday night, the 36-year-old developed a fever and was rushed to hospital early the next morning as she struggled to breathe, her brothers told the Boston Globe. She died on Tuesday afternoon, just days before Christmas.
"The doctor's words, I'll always remember this," the mum's older brother Ian Meropol, 42, told the publication. "'This is a one-in-a-million case of influenza.'" It is unclear what strain of the flu Ms McMahon suffered from and what her exact complications were.
Family mourn 'hardworking' mum-of-two
The Massachusetts local leaves behind her husband, Jimmy, and their children — seven-year-old Rosie and five-year-old James — who a GoFundMe has been set up for to help navigate the "unexpected" loss.
"Price was a loyal friend, a loving daughter, sister, and aunt, but absolutely nothing compared to the love she had for her husband Jimmy and her children Rosie and James," the fundraiser's description says. So far it has raised more than A$235,000.
Prior to her tragic death, Ms McMahon, an executive at American Express and Burberry, was able to gather with her family one last time to cheer for Argentina in the World Cup, and celebrate the first night of Hannukkah, the Boston Globe reports.
"She was always incredibly smart, hardworking, driven, she was the one that everyone knew would be successful," Mr Meropol said.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Health, influenza has hit the US state earlier than usual this year, categorising this flu season as quite severe.
How to best fight the flu?
Influenza is a highly-contagious respiratory illness that usually causes a cough, sore throat, sinusitis and/or fever. According to Health Direct, it's a common cause for hospitalisations in Australia, as well as death from complications.
Those who are most vulnerable are babies, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, as well as people with underlying medical conditions.
In Australia, the flu shot is recommended every year for those aged six months and older as a preventative from the most common strains, which tend to change every year.
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