Heartbreak Strikes as Mother-of-13 Dies Suddenly from Common Illness-Turned Pneumonia

 Heartbreak Strikes as Mother-of-13 Dies Suddenly from Common Illness-Turned Pneumonia

Credit: gofundme

A 47-year-old mother from Victoria, Australia, tragically died after contracting a common illness that escalated into pneumonia. The woman, Julie Theobald, is survived by her husband and 13 children. Her sudden death has sparked warnings about the ongoing risks of influenza.

Julie Theobald was admitted to an intensive care unit in Melbourne on June 10 after her flu worsened and developed into pneumonia. Despite intensive medical care, she passed away two weeks later. Her daughter, Jessica Theobald, confirmed that Julie had underlying health conditions and was airlifted to Melbourne Hospital by MediEvac—her first time flying in a plane.

Jessica created a GoFundMe campaign to help cover the costs of Julie’s funeral, which has raised $8,506 so far. The campaign reads: “Mum leaves behind 13 amazing children, aged from 7 years – 31 years old, and her devoted husband, Billy. We’ve all been extremely shocked and heartbroken by this news. We could have never imagined losing our mum this early on. This is our last opportunity to give her the best send-off possible.”

Julie’s death comes amid warnings of a “triple threat” of surging flu, COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in New South Wales. Dr. Kerry Chant, NSW health officer, confirmed that flu figures are expected to remain high for several weeks. “Flu is rapidly increasing across the state,” she noted.

The NSW Health Respiratory Surveillance Report revealed a 22 percent surge in people admitted to emergency departments with flu-like illnesses. Dr. Chant urged Australians over 65 to get vaccinated, as only 52.4 percent of this age group has done so, reported
The Sun.

Professor Catherine Bennett, chair of epidemiology at Deakin University, commented on the current spike in influenza hospitalizations, suggesting a potentially longer flu season. “Influenza is still heating up. So it looks like COVID might be handing over to influenza in terms of the dominating causes of potentially severe respiratory illness at the moment,” she said.

Bennett warned that the “worst is yet to come” in this winter’s influenza wave and urged people to get the updated flu vaccine to help avoid severe illness. “Flu vaccines don’t last more than six months or so. They’re not that different from COVID in respect of the best protection being in the first six months.”

She emphasized that even young, fit, and healthy individuals could be hospitalized with the flu. “I think everyone probably knows some young, fit, healthy adults who end up in hospital with flu, so it’s definitely something for everyone to avoid.”

Bennett advised maintaining social distancing, ensuring good ventilation, and wearing masks in crowded areas to help protect against respiratory illnesses. “All of those things help protect against these conditions,” she added.

Julie’s story serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of vigilance and vaccination in combating seasonal flu and other respiratory illnesses.

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