Florida couple dies days apart from flu-like symptoms

MACCLENNY, Fla. (WFOX) – A family near Jacksonville is urging people to get a flu shot after their grandparents died just days apart.

“The flu is not playing this year, its taking people’s lives,” said Kathleen Estell.

They said their grandmother and step-grandfather, Kathryn Barber, 60, and Charles Thornton, 63, died after experiencing flu-like symptoms.

MORE: 1 million Floridians experiencing flu-like symptoms; 2nd largest increase in country

“They were supposed to go to the doctor that day, but he didn’t make it to the doctor,” she said.

Charles was supposed to go to the hospital Jan. 19.  Estell said her grandmother went to the hospital that same day, and died 11 days later.

“Everything was good until she got the flu, the flu is what took her.”

Estell says the couple of 36 years didn’t get a flu vaccine.

“Don’t wait, don’t wait, don’t hesitate,” said Estell.

Now they are warning others.

“I feel they waited too long to go to the hospital. I feel if they would’ve went sooner, we could’ve caught it sooner,” Estell said.

If you would like to help this family with burial costs, visit the family’s Gofundme page.

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