On Sunday morning Alani "Joie" Murrieta, a 20-year-old mother of two from Phoenix, Arizona left work early because she was feeling very sick.
The next day she went to an urgent care clinic, where her aunt, Stephanie Gonzales said, “they told her she had the flu and gave her a prescription for the medicine Tamiflu.”
However, by Tuesday morning her symptoms had worsened and her family immediately took her to the hospital. "She woke up at 6 a.m. that morning and told her mom that she was feeling worse and having trouble breathing and that she even spit up some blood after coughing," Gonzales said. While in the emergency room Gonzales said “they found her oxygen levels were low and did an X-ray that revealed she had a bad case of pneumonia from the flu.”
Around 12 p.m. they took her to intensive care unit (ICU), but as Murrieta was being transported her heart stopped. "Doctors were able to resuscitate her, but as soon as we came into the ICU to see her, her heart stopped again and the doctors tried again to resuscitate but it wasn't working, several minutes passed and they told us there was nothing they could do," Gonzales recalls.
Murrieta arrived at the hospital around 7 a.m. and was declared dead at 3:25 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. According to her family, she had no pre-existing condition. "She was very healthy and never got sick, she worked six days a week and her job was at a warehouse so she was very active at her job," said Gonzales.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been between 140,000 and 710,000 flu-related hospitalizations and 12,000 to 56,000 flu-related deaths since 2010.
Murrieta’s family remembers her as a hardworking, loving mother. She leaves behind two sons, one two-year-old and one six-month-old. Her family has started a GoFundMe to help pay for funeral costs