flu, virus, vaccine, fatal

TUSTIN (CBSLA) — An Orange County mom has an emotional warning after her healthy 27 year old daughter died of the flu.

 Katharine Gallagher had no pre-existing condition. She was perfectly healthy, her mother told CBS2/KCAL9’s Stacey Butler.

“You never believe it would happen. And the flu, pneumonia — I mean it’s just unimaginable,” Liz Gallagher said.

Liz and Phil Gallagher said their daughter graduated from Boston University and was living in Tustin with her boyfriend when she got the flu last month. Gallagher said her daughter thought she could ride it out at home but by day three her mom took her to your urgent care when the fever, chills, stomach issues and cough persisted.

When she didn’t get better two days later, her mom tried to take her to the emergency room, but she refused. On day five of the flu, her mom was texting her every hour.

But the texts stopped. She got a call from her daughter’s boyfriend when he returned from work. He found her lying on the bathroom floor.

Katharine died an hour after sending her mom the last text.

“It’s the beginning of the worst nightmare that I’ll never wake up from,” Liz said.

She has a message for the public.

“If young people hear this they will realize that this is not to be trifled with. And that they’re not invincible. Whatever it is that’s going around is really dangerous. If there is even one person who goes and gets checked and doesn’t end up dying in a few days then it will will be worth it,” she said.

CBS2/KCAL9 has been reporting all week that doctors are overwhelmed in emergency room hospitals. They only want people to come in when they have serious symptoms.

Liz wants to be clear her daughter had a difficult time breathing and was dizzy in addition to other symptoms. She says if you have those symptoms, go to the emergency room.

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