FORT WORTH, Texas (CBS Local) — A Texas elementary school teacher died of complications from the flu after the woman delayed in picking up her medication because of its cost.
Heather Holland, a second-grade teacher and mother of two, reportedly held off getting her prescription drugs because of a $116 copay. Holland’s husband Frank told the Weatherford Democrat that his wife thought the price was too high for her family. Mr. Holland reportedly bought the medication a week later, however, the teacher’s condition quickly deteriorated.
“Friday night, things escalated and she ended up in the ICU,” Holland said. “The doctors got the blood cultures back and they had to put her on dialysis early Saturday.” Heather Holland passed away on Feb. 4 at the age of 38.
“She wouldn’t go get medicine because she’s a mama. Mama’s are tough. She just kept going. She had a job; she had kids,” Holland’s pastor Clark Bosher said, via KCCI. “I don’t think she thought she was that sick. It happened so quick.”
The CDC announced that this year’s flu season is track to be the worst for flu hospitalizations since the organization began tracking that information in 2010. “Unfortunately, more deaths are likely to happen,” the CDC’s acting director Anne Schuchat said, according to CBS News. U.S. health officials maintain that the best defense against fatal complications from the flu is to get a flu shot.
Schuchat added that flu symptoms can quickly escalate if a person does not stay home from work or school when they’re sick. “What may be mild symptoms for you could be deadly for someone else.”