Mom of 2 dies of the flu after deciding medication was too expensive

A 38-year-old mother of two died of flu complications on Sunday just days after deciding the medicine she was prescribed to treat the illness was too expensive.

Heather Holland, a second-grade teacher at Ikard Elementary School in Weatherford, Texas, began exhibiting flu symptoms about a week before her death, according to her husband, Frank Holland.

Holland went to a doctor and was prescribed flu medication, but when she went to pick it up and learned about the $116 copay, she decided to forgo the prescription, believing it wasn't worth the money.

When Holland's husband found out about the copay incident on Thursday night, he went back to the pharmacy and bought the prescription himself, but by that point, her condition had swiftly deteriorated. 

"Friday night, things escalated and she ended up in the ICU," Holland told The Weatherford Democrat. "The doctors got the blood cultures back and they had to put her on dialysis early Saturday."

On Sunday morning, Holland passed away from flu complications, leaving behind her husband, a 10-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son. 

"I have to be strong for the kids but it’s still surreal, it hasn’t all set in," Frank Holland said. "We've been together a long time, over half my life. She's my best friend, my soulmate, my everything."

The family's pastor, Clark Bosher, told WJBK that Holland was a "happy, fulfilled person" who was just trying to do what was best for her family when she tragically died.

"She wouldn't go get medicine because she's a mama. Mama's are tough. She just kept going. She had a job; she had kids," Bosher told the outlet. "I think any mom does that. I don't think she is being irresponsible. I don't think she thought she was that sick. It happened so quick."

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2018 flu season in the US
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2018 flu season in the US
Emergency room nurse Kathy Nguyen wears a mask as deals with flu patients at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, California, U.S., January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Emergency room nurse Christine Bauer treats Joshua Lagade of Vista, California, for the flu as his girlfriend Mayra Mora looks on in the emergency room at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, California, U.S., January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Emergency room nurse Christine Bauer treats Joshua Lagade of Vista, California, for the flu in the emergency room at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, California, U.S., January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Doug Hasselo, 87 of Carlsbad, California, is treated for the flu by float nurse Nellie Reyes in the emergency room at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, California, U.S., January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Joshua Lagade of Vista, California, gets an IV from emergency room nurse Christine Bauer at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, California, U.S., January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Emergency room nurse Richard Horner wears a mask as he deals with flu patients at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, California, U.S., January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A doctor hold a syringe as part of the start of the seasonal influenza vaccination campaign in Nice, France October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
Boxes of vaccines against the flu are seen as part of the start of the seasonal influenza vaccination campaign in Nice, France October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
PORTLAND, ME - DECEMBER 29: Troy Ali, 21 of Portland receives a flu shot from Greater Portland Health medical assistant Anissa Millette at the clinic in Franklin Towers on Cumberland Ave on Friday, December 29, 2017. (Staff Photo by Carl D. Walsh/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 22: Vials of the Fluvirin influenza vaccine are displayed at a Walgreens phramacy on January 22, 2018 in San Francisco, California. A strong strain of H3N2 influenza has claimed the lives of 74 Californians under the age of 65 since the flu season began in October of last year. People are being encouraged to get flu shots even through the vaccine has been only 30% effective in combating the influenza. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 22: A sign advertising flu shots is displayed at a Walgreens phramacy on January 22, 2018 in San Francisco, California. A strong strain of H3N2 influenza has claimed the lives of 74 Californians under the age of 65 since the flu season began in October of last year. People are being encouraged to get flu shots even through the vaccine has been only 30% effective in combating the influenza. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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