Flu virus blamed for tragic death of 21-year-old man

CITRUS HEIGHTS (KTXL) -- One Citrus Heights living room is filled with hugs of comfort and tears of grief just one day after friends and family of the Yaroshenkos stood in the same spot laughing and celebrating the young man they're now missing -- Yuriy Yaroshenko.

"So all the organs started to shut down, kidneys, heart, and three times they tried to revive," said his father, Peter Yaroshenko.

Through a translator, Yuriy's father says that happened just 19 hours after his son wrapped up his early Sunday afternoon birthday party with family -- his 21st.

He suddenly started feeling ill.

At 1 a.m. Monday he was rushed to Mercy San Juan hospital with a high fever.

Eight hours of intense treatment wasn't able to save his life.

"We are very thankful to the physicians. They did everything possible to save, but God had his own plan," said Peter.

"He was a very kind-hearted, obedient son," said Yuriy's mother Luba.

"Yuriy was a special child,"said Peter Yaroshenko.

Sacramento County has officially recorded three deaths during the 2016-2017 flu season.

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There can be a delay in reporting, but no such death has been reported for February 6.

Yuriy's parents maintain their son faced a killer flu and not another illness like meningitis.

"After they tapped into the spinal fluid they determined it was the flu that's causing Yuriy to go down," his father said.

A spokeswoman for Mercy San Juan said the hospital could not disclose any patient information related to this case.

What is known for sure is that Yuriy, seen as the smallest babe in arms in a family picture, was a stellar tenor in the choir of his church, Antelope's Grace Trinity Assembly of God.

He sang as many as four times a week with his five brothers and sisters who settled in Citrus Heights two years ago, religious refugees having fled persecution of Christians in their native Ukraine.

Choir director Elona Shcherba remembered her friend through tears.

"Life radiated from him. He was always, he always had a smile on his face, all the time," she said.

Someday Yuriy wanted to be a train conductor.

It's a goal he will never reach, but with his dedication to his church and his family, those who loved him, feel he reached the most important goal of all.

"I think that's what we take from him... you just live life to the fullest," said Shcherba.

The Yaroshenkos are struggling to care for their other children and confront their grief.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help them with expenses during this difficult time.

RELATED: The best drinks to fight the flu:

The Best Drinks to Fight the Flu
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The Best Drinks to Fight the Flu


This shouldn't be a surprise: the ultimate clear liquid, water is the truest drink to keep you hydrated. Don't like the taste? Add a sugar-free flavor packet, like Crystal Light, to your glass to encourage more guzzling.
Credit: iStockphoto/ Thinkstock

Ice Pops and Ice Cubes

How do you think ice cubes became the 25th most searched recipe in America, after all? Ice pops, or ice cubes if your freezer just happens to be void of summer’s best treat, are two of the best defenses against dehydration. WebMD advises to look for ice pops made with 100 percent fruit juices to get a 2-in-1 fight against the flu – hydration, plus vitamins.

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Black Tea

Mother Nature Network notes one Harvard study that shows black tea as the ultimate immunity booster. Drinking five cups of black tea per day for two weeks nearly quadrupled a person’s immunity system – so if tea isn’t a part of your diet already, you germaphobes, you should get on it. Thanks to black tea’s abundance of theanine, flavonoids (antioxidant-like compounds), catechins (compounds that fight free radicals in the body), it’s been proven to fight off the flu.

Credit: Flickr/ HinduCindu

Ginger Tea

Ginger may as well be called a superfood, seeing as how much it can keep the flu at bay. Most people reach for a ginger ale when tummy troubles come about, and we can see why – it’s been a part of Chinese herbal medicine for more than 2,000 years to relieve digestion problems and nausea. Plus, ginger can help detox the body by inducing sweating (not the most fun symptom of the flu) to get rid of the body’s toxins. And ginger’s analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties relieve aches and pains that come with the flu. Convinced? Fortunately, ginger tea is simple to make: the University of Maryland Medical Center advises adding 2 tablespoons of ground ginger or ginger root to a cup of boiling water. (We particularly like this honey, lemon, and ginger flu-fighting concoction from Simple Green Smoothies, too.)

Credit: Flickr/ Ali Fayre

Chicken Broth

Chicken broth may be your best remedy against a cold and the flu. Vitamins and protein? Check. Hydration power? Check. Anti-inflammatory properties? Check. Congestion-fighting properties? Check. The most popular study on chicken broth, from the University of Nebraska, showed that chicken soup helped reduce upper respiratory cold symptoms and helped build up the nose’s protective cilia, hair-like substances in the nose that prevent contagions – like that pesky flu bug – from entering the body. While you may need a few days to feel well enough to eat a hearty chicken soup, the University of Nebraska provides the ultimate chicken noodle soup recipe. A scientifically-backed recipe to feel better? Not even your mom’s homemade soup-made-with-love can top that.

Credit: Flickr/ Muffet

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