Alani “Joie” Murrieta got the flu right after the Thanksgiving holiday, as did the rest of her family. The only difference is that her family recovered from their illness and sadly, Alani did not. She tragically died just one day after being diagnosed with the flu.
Dying as a result of the flu might make you think that Alani had another illness or perhaps she wasn’t healthy but she was. Her family states that Alani didn’t have any other pre-existing conditions. She was a perfectly healthy 20-year-old and mother of two.
“She did everything she could for her two boys — she was the best mother to them,” her aunt Stephanie Gonzales told BuzzFeed News about her niece that lived in Arizona. “I saw her on Thanksgiving and she was fine and perfectly healthy.”
After Thanksgiving, Alani returned to work at a warehouse where she worked alongside her cousin. And while the family who had fallen ill during the holiday had recovered, Alani was still sick as she was working. She was so sick, in fact, that she was sent home to rest. Her family took her to a clinic where they recommended she take a flu medication. But the medicine did not help. The following day, Alani was even worse so she was taken to the ER.
Tragically, Alani died less than 24 hours after her initial visit to the clinic. It was at the ER that Alani’s heart stopped twice and reports say she had too much fluid in her lungs. Doctors said that Alani died from pneumonia caused by the flu.
While it’s quite rare that someone so young and healthy would die from complications of pneumonia, it does happen a lot. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they estimates that, “since 2010, there have been between 140,000 and 710,000 flu-related hospitalizations and 12,000 to 56,000 flu-related deaths.”