Via the Red Deer Advocate: Family of H5N1 victim issues public statement. Click through to read the full report and to see an image of the statement. Excerpt:
The young Red Deer woman who is the first North American known to have contracted and died from the H5N1 avian flu virus worked hard and saved money for a vacation to her home country that would turn out to be her last.
Born in China, the woman who died on Jan. 3 from the rare virus came to Red Deer to fulfill a dream of becoming a nurse, putting herself through her studies at Red Deer College. The woman graduated with her degree in 2010 before earning a job as a registered nurse in the operating room at the Red Deer Regional Hospital.
The family of the woman, who was in her late 20s, released a statement through Alberta Health Services this morning talking about the “energetic ... driven, and passionate” victim. The family wishes that the woman not be identified, citing privacy, and is not providing media with any interviews.
The woman died last week after falling ill upon her return from a three-week vacation to Beijing in December. Health officials are investigating her death, which has been determined to be the first fatality relating to avian flu in the Americas.
“Our beloved daughter and wife was a hard-working, independent young woman,” starts the statement.
“She married her husband a year and a half ago; and together they created a happy life in Red Deer. She worked hard and had saved for a vacation, which she took in December 2013 with her mother. Together, they travelled on a trip which would sadly turn out to be her last,” it reads.
“We are devastated by her death, and we request time to grieve in privacy.”