When Angie Barwise got the flu over Christmas, it was no fun, but she got over it and thought everything was OK. Last week, she came down with flu again, and never recovered.
"Nobody's taking this seriously enough," said Greg Barwise, Angie's husband. "She was way too young to go."
Angie Barwise went to her doctor's office last Monday with the flu. On Wednesday, it got worse. Her husband said he took her to the emergency room at Harris Methodist Southwest in Fort Worth.
On Thursday, Greg Barwise said the hospital called asking him to bring his wife to be admitted. Angie died two days later from sepsis, a bacterial infection that can be triggered by the flu.
"The bacterial infection occurs because your lungs cannot clear the bacteria," explained Dr. Edward Dominguez, an infectious disease specialist at Methodist Dallas Hospital. "When they build up to a critical mass, then they have access to the bloodstream. That causes sepsis. And then, unfortunately, literally within 24 to 48 hours, in some people you can see this play out in a very catastrophic way."
Angie Barwise is one of several people in recent weeks to die from or be treated for sepsis complications of the flu.
"It breaks my heart that I've outlived my own daughter," said Eileen Smith, Angie Barwise's mother. "I don't want this happening to anyone else's child."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sepsis is the body's extreme response to an infection. It is life-threatening, and without timely treatment can rapidly cause tissue damage, organ failure and death.