US News Teenage twin's heartbreak as her beloved sister dies from flu after falling ill on Christmas Day and never recovering
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A devastated twin is heartbroken after her 'beautiful' 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.
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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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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 . Twin sister Megan (right) says she doesn't know what she ' ll do without Melissa (Image: Stoke Sentinel).
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'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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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 . Melissa Whiteley could barely walk when she was rushed to A&E where doctors discovered she was suffering from sepsis, flu , pneumonia and a fungal infection.
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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