EDMONTON — The “devastated” family of North America’s first H5N1 flu victim says the young Red Deer, Alta., nurse’s goal in life was to help others.
“Our beloved daughter and wife was a hard-working, independent young woman,” her family said in a statement released Friday by Alberta Health Services.
“She grew up in China, and in high school she decided that she wanted to become a nurse.”
The woman, who the family did not name, came to Canada as a young student, and spent the past 10 years working towards becoming a nurse, eventually studying at Red Deer College and then getting a job as a nurse at Red Deer Regional Hospital.
“This was her dream; and she studied and worked extremely hard to achieve this. She wanted to help people. She also wanted a career that would allow her to provide for her family and to support those she loved.”
The victim, in her late 20s, was returning to Alberta from a trip to Beijing on Dec. 27 with her mother when she began suffering from headaches, fever, and general weakness symptoms.
She was hospitalized on Jan. 1 and died two days later.
Her family went on to say she achieved a “tremendous amount” for them.
“She was successful and providing for those in her life. She was a uniquely independent and determined young woman,” her family said in the statement.
“She married her husband a year and a half ago; and together they created a happy life in Red Deer.”