A 38-year-old teacher from Fort Worth, Texas named Heather Holland lost her life earlier this month due to complications from the flu. The second grade teacher left behind her husband Frank Holland, a 10-year-old daughter, and a 7-year-old son.
According to the Weatherford Democrat, Heather had gotten sick and planned to pick up Tamiflu, but was stressed about spending $116 on the copay. So, Frank picked up the prescription for his wife. “Friday night, things escalated and she ended up in the ICU,” he said. "The doctors got the blood cultures back and they had to put her on dialysis early Saturday.” By Sunday morning, Heather had passed.
“I have to be strong for the kids but it’s still surreal, it hasn’t all set in,” the widower said. “We’ve been together a long time, over half my life. She’s my best friend, my soulmate, my everything." Of her work as an educator, he said, "She loved helping people, helping the kids, and the kids loved her.” He went on to note that "it hasn't set in" with their children. So heart-wrenching.
Frank's sister Cindy Holland Nieland set up a GoFundMe to help cover medical bills and funeral expenses for Heather's widower and their children, and anything raised above the $15,000 goal will go toward her children's college tuitions.
Of her sister-in-law, Nieland wrote, "Heather was an incredibly amazing woman who loved her family (they meant the world to her). She was an avid reader and shared this love with her children, her family, and her students. She always taught 'do unto others as you would have done to you,' and made sure kindness, manners, and humility were in everything she did (both in words and actions.) She would be humbled by all the well wishes and concerns."
This devastating loss is even more of a reminder of how severe this flu season has been and how imperative it is to follow the CDC's suggestions to prevent illness.