GRANBURY (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas mother of three, who was also raising two grandkids, has died from the flu. Now her family is sharing their traumatic experience and encouraging others to take this year’s dangerous strain of influenza seriously.

Members of the Parker family didn’t get around to getting their flu shots this year and dad Tony admitted to CBS 11 News that he never does. “My wife and children usually do every year, but some reason this year it got skipped.”

So that oversight meant that when the Parkers got the flu, they got it bad.  Tony went down first. He remembers he had, “…chills, and fever, just weak, [with a] headache.  It was really bad for like two or three days.”

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Soon wife Stacey and three of the five kids in the home were sick as well.  Tony said his 38-year-old wife fought hard. “She never improved. The whole time [she] never, ever improved,” he said solemnly. “Kinda stayed the same… ya know, blood pressure problems [and] heart rate problems.  They would monitor it and get her stable again and [she] just fought through it for about two weeks and finally her heart stopped.”

Although family members say Stacey had other health problems, Tony said he just didn’t think he needed to worry about the flu. “No! I never thought she would die… ever. Never thought she was in any danger of dying. I knew she was really sick, but I had no idea the power behind this kind of virus.”

North Texas mother and grandmother Stacey Parker died from the flu. (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

North Texas mother and grandmother Stacey Parker died from the flu. (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

Now as he grieves, Tony is encouraging others to get the flu shot and seek care quickly if you begin to experience symptoms.  Thinking of his wife he said softly, “She was the most tenderhearted, loving, compassionate person. I got lucky when I got with her.”

A fund has been established at the First Convenience Bank in Granbury to help the family with final expenses.

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