US News Teenage twin's heartbreak as her beloved sister dies from flu after falling ill on Christmas Day and never recovering

13:38  08 february  2018
13:38  08 february  2018 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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killer flu when she fell ill on Christmas Day .Engineering student , 18, could barely walk and tests revealed she was suffering from sepsis, flu She passed away at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester surrounded by her loved-ones - including her twin sister Megan - on January 27.Fighting back tears

A twin sister who fell ill on Christmas Day and spent weeks in an induced coma in hospital has become the latest victim of the flu . The engineering student was placed in a coma but never recovered .

a group of people posing for the camera © Stoke Sentinel / BPM Media A devastated twin is heartbroken after her 'beautiful' teenage sister died from killer flu when she fell ill on Christmas Day.

Engineering student Melissa Whiteley, 18, could barely walk and tests revealed she was suffering from sepsis, flu, pneumonia and a fungal infection.

The teenager, from Hanford, Staffordshire, was placed in an induced coma but did not recover and died one month later. 

She passed away at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester surrounded by her loved-ones - including her twin sister Megan - on January 27.

Fighting back tears, Megan told The Sentinel: 'It's broken me, I don't know what I'll do without her. 

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Megan Whiteley said she was “ broken ” after her sister Melissa, 18, died just one month after falling ill on Christmas Day .

Megan Whiteley said she was “ broken ” after her sister Melissa, 18, died just one month after falling ill on Christmas Day .

'We did everything together and that's now been taken away from me. She was funny, we had a lot of banter. I couldn't have asked for a better sister.'

Now her devastated parents are warning others to not delay going to hospital if they have flu-like symptoms.

Her mother Sharon Whiteley, a 53-year-old Portmeirion worker, said: 'We couldn't believe it.

'We thought when we went to Leicester it would have a positive outcome but in the days leading up to it you don't want to give in but we knew it wasn't getting any better. 

'You don't want it to be the end and you don't want to let go but you can't be cruel.

'We knew that if you just have a cold, they don't want you in A&E because you could pass more germs on or could waste their time but I would say to anyone if you're not sure, go. You're not wasting time, make sure and get it checked out.'

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Engineering student Melissa Whiteley, 18, could barely walk when she was rushed to A&E and never recovered from her illness.

A TEEN has told of her heartache after her twin sister became the latest victim of killer flu . Student Melissa Whiteley lost her fight for life at just 18 years old - a month after falling ill on Christmas Day .

Her father Mark Whiteley, a 50-year-old HGV driver, added: 'I couldn't really control my emotions at that point. 

'Watching the colour going out of her lips and watching the heartbeat go down it was unreal. 

AT LEAST 231 DEATHS IN THE UK HAVE BEEN DIRECTLY ATTRIBUTED TO FLU 

Latest figures show 231 deaths have been directly attributed to flu in the UK so far this winter, with 193 in England, 26 in Scotland and 12 in Northern Ireland. No precise data exists for Wales.

However, this relates just to those who have passed away in intensive care. The true toll is expected to be much higher, and will be finalised in the months after the outbreak finishes.

Health agencies for each of the home nations monitor 'excess deaths' - how many more people die than expected - to give a rough estimate of flu deaths.

Deaths have already risen to a 'statistically significant' amount in Scotland, Northern Ireland and England - but has yet to breach the level set in Wales.

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A heartbroken mom has told how her five-year-old daughter died from the flu – two days after falling ill with a fever. Rebecca Hendricks, 34, said little Scarlett Taylor caught the H3N2 strain of influenza which attacked her lungs and sent her into respiratory failure. She initially treated her daughter at

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A separate analysis of ONS figures by the Daily Mail earlier this week revealed that the deaths across England and Wales are up 16 per cent on the average for this time of year.

Some 55,964 deaths have been recorded across the two nations already in January, with 48,000 of the victims being over the age of 65. Just 316 deaths were under the age of 14. The remaining 1,094 fell under the 15-44 bracket.

In contrast, just 47,336 deaths were noted in England and Wales in January 2016, considered a brutal winter for flu. Some 283 of these were under the age of 14 – suggesting an 11 per cent spike in deaths this January for this age group, amid the worst flu outbreak in seven years.

More than 16,000 deaths were recorded from the killer bug overall that winter – in comparison to the 577 fatalities the previous winter. 

'She was so much fun. She always on the go and had a great sense of humour. She had great banter with her twin sister - she was the happiest person and she had so much to live for.

'She had passed her driving test in May, she had bought her car. It was the best year she ever had.

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A heartbroken mom has told how her five-year-old daughter died from the flu – two days after falling ill with a fever. Rebecca Hendricks, 34, said little Scarlett Taylor caught the H3N2 strain of influenza which attacked her lungs and sent her into respiratory failure. She initially treated her daughter at

20-Year-Old Arizona Mother Dies One Day After Flu Diagnosis: 'We' re Devastated,' Says Family. The family of a 20-year-old mother who died just one day after being diagnosed with the flu says she was “always healthy” before she became ill over Thanksgiving weekend.

'The team at Leicester we couldn't fault at all. I would like there to have more awareness of these symptoms, families as well as staff members at hospitals.'

Melissa's boyfriend, Ben Pepper, also paid tribute to the 'happiest person he had ever known'.

The 18-year-old electrician, from Trentham, said: 'We were only together for six months but I had known her since Year Seven - we've always been close.

'She made loads of plans to do loads of things such as going to Dubai, buying a new house and a new car. 

'When she died I didn't know how I was going to take it, it has made me realise just how much I cared about her.'

Melissa had been studying engineering at Newcastle-under-Lyme College. 

Principal and chief executive Karen Dobson said: 'The entire college community is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Melissa. Melissa joined the college, along with her sister Megan, in 2015.

'She had many friends and her hard working and eager approach earned her the respect of her lecturers.

'Melissa had a real determination to get on and do well and she was an inspiration to other young females looking for a career in engineering.

'The thoughts of everyone connected with NULC are with Melissa's family and friends at this very sad time.'

It comes just days after a heartbroken family released pictures of their nine-year-old son who is believed to be the youngest person to die from the flu in the UK this winter. 

Coby Simons, from Exeter, passed away on January 24 - two days after being struck down with the killer virus. 

Public Health England at the time confirmed the gifted maths pupil tested positive for flu. He becomes the sixth victim across the UK to have been named. 

The deadly flu outbreak has claimed at least 231 lives in the UK this winter, but is now on the decline as cases have peaked and are now 'stabilising'. 

A fund-raising campaign has now been launched to raise money to meet the costs of Melissa's funeral and for the hospital where she was treated.

For details, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/melissa-whiteley

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