Judge Tosses California Law Allowing Doctor-Assisted Death
A 27-Year-Old California Woman Has Died From Flu Complications
Katharine Gallagher of Tustin, California, left work sick with flu symptoms on Friday, December 1, and died just a few days later,Peoplereports. According to her mother, Liz Gallagher, Katharine was working as a server at Tustin Brewing Company when she began to experience a fever, diarrhea, cold sweats, body aches, and nausea.
"I asked her if she would like to go to the doctor, and, as a typical young person, she said she was fine and that she was just exhausted, and needed sleep," Liz toldPeople. "She felt the same way on Saturday when I talked to her, but by then, she really had an issue with nausea, dizziness and coughing."
Liz said she urged her daughter to get help, and Katharine obliged. While at an urgent care center, doctors prescribed Katharine antibiotics and gave her fluids through an IV to help her stay hydrated. Liz toldPeoplethe medications helped, but only for a few days. By Tuesday, Katharine's condition worsened and she was having difficulty breathing.
"I wanted her to go to my doctor because she had never been to her doctor since she had never really been sick," Liz toldPeople. "We chatted by text several times that day, and it even got a little heated. She's writing back in capital letters telling me that I should just let her take the medicine, get sleep and she'd be better. She wanted to give the antibiotic a chance to work."
That same day, Liz said she received a call from Katharine's boyfriend, who found her unconscious and was trying to resuscitate her with chest compressions while the paramedics arrived. "After about 10 minutes, he said to me, 'They've called it,' " Liz said. "It was a total and complete shock."
Katharine was pronounced dead on December 5 as a result of severe acute bronchial pneumonia, a complication of the flu virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this year's flu season has been especially severe, with flu activity in 46 U.S. states and some having deadly effects. The statistics also note that the number of people hospitalized for the flu is 35 percent higher than the same time last year.
KTLA reported that Katharine did not get the flu shot, and Liz is now spreading the word so young people take the flu seriously. "Young people just think they're invincible, and most of them don't want to pay what it costs now to go to doctors," she told the TV station.
Katharine, a graduate of Boston University, is remembered as "very bright, intelligent, [and] bubbly," her parents say, according to KTLA.
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