GRANBURY — There's been another flu death in North Texas. Stacey Parker was a 38-year-old mother of five from Granbury.
Her family said she never got a flu shot; now they are encouraging everyone to be inoculated.
Doctors said Parker was a victim of the H1N1 swine flu strain.
"It's been an almighty trial," said Stacey's husband, Tony Parker. "I have never been through something like this."
Tony said the flu has sickened almost every member of his family since the new year. He admits that neither he, his wife nor his children ever got a flu shot.
His son Teddy wishes differently now. "I didn't think it could get so severe," he said.
Tony Parker said he was the first family member to come down with the flu; he was sick for two weeks. Then his nine-year-old daughter Audrey and 16-year-old son Teddy caught the bug.
Tony and the children recovered, but Stacey got worse, and was rushed to Lake Granbury Medical Center on January 5.
"She got worse that night," he recalled. "They had to put her on a ventilator and sedated her, and we never got to talk to her again."
Tony said doctors tried in vain for one week to improve Stacey's flu symptoms. She was later moved to Plano Medical Center for more urgent care.
She died on Friday night.
"Dad talked to us and said she wanted us to stay strong, and that’s what I’m trying to do," said daughter Audrey, who cherishes the artwork her mom left behind.
Meanwhile, Tony Parker focuses on the cautionary tale to those who think it can’t happen to them.
"Go right to the doctor this season... I would say go to the doctor and get a flu shot," he said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu outbreak is no longer considered widespread across Texas, and the number of cases is actually dropping in North Texas.
Late last week, however, Dallas County confirmed five more deaths linked to the virus, bringing the total to 40. Tarrant County reports seven flu-related deaths, making the total at least 59 in seven North Texas counties this season.
Stacey Parker's funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at the Bible Baptist Church in Granbury.
The Stacey Forever Fund has been set up to help offset the Parkers' funeral costs. Donations can be made care of Cody Parker at 1st Convenient Bank, 3804 East Highway 377 in Granbury.