A mother-of-two said to be at the peak of good health died a day after being diagnosed with the flu, according to her anguished family.
Alani “Joie” Murrieta, 20, and her two children went to a doctor last Monday, one day after the Arizona mother began feeling ill, loved ones said.
“They diagnosed them with the flu, sent her home with flu meds,” Murrieta’s aunt, Stephanie Gonzales, told KSAZ-TV.
But by Tuesday, Murrieta was having difficulty breathing, so her mother brought her to the hospital.
Murrieta’s oxygen levels were low and an x-ray revealed she had pneumonia. The young mother was put on a ventilator, but never recovered.
“She checked into the hospital at 7:30 [a.m.] and by 3:25 [p.m.] she was gone,” Gonzales told the TV station.
Murrieta’s family said she had no pre-existing condition and rarely got sick. She had not gotten the flu shot this year, but Gonzales noted there was no indication that would have made a difference.
Murrieta leaves behind two sons, ages 2 and 6 months, and countless other loved ones who were overcome by the woman's sudden death.
“What I wouldn't give to have her back even if just to tell her I loved her one last time. You will always be my baby,” Murrieta’s father wrote on Facebook.
“I have a son too and it kills me to think the babies won’t see their mother,” a friend wrote on a GoFundMe page created by Murrieta’s cousin to raise funds for her funeral.
“She was my baby, she was a loving daughter, mother and sister and an even better person,” her mother shared on GoFundMe. “Her death was unexpected and has devastated us all.”
She also took to social media to grieve, writing: “Rest in Paradise My Baby Girl. You will forever be beautiful. I love you always. I'll see you soon. Mom”