SWINE Flu has claimed the life of a 41-year-old Scarborough woman.
Katrina Mullen, of St Mary’s Walk, died from the deadly flu strain at Scarborough Hospital.
She had been admitted to intensive care and was under sedation after falling ill on Christmas Day with a cough.
The mother of two, who had underlying health issues, moved to Scarborough in 2009 to be with her partner Jason Mullen, whom she married last March.
Today Mr Mullen urged anyone suffering from health problems to get a flu vaccination to prevent a similar tragedy.
Mr Mullen, who first met his wife at school in west London, said: “Katrina was amazing. She was a lovely, kind and caring person who was always thinking of other people. We had a fairytale romance, and we were very much in love, more than I had ever been with anybody.
“I am really grateful that I had her in my life, and that she became my wife. We never would have imagined this could have happened, especially as she was only in her forties.
“She started with a cough on Christmas Day and just got worse from there until New Year’s Day when she couldn’t move and asked me to take her to hospital. You just don’t think it will happen to you, but it can, and I really hope this will make people more aware.
“If you have underlying health issues, even if you are relatively young, go and get yourself vaccinated.
“I would hate to read of something like this happening again. I wouldn’t want anybody to have to go through what we have just been through.”
Mr Mullen said his wife, affectionately known as Kit Kat, received “absolutely brilliant” treatment at Scarborough Hospital, where doctors and nurses “did everything they could to fight the losing battle”.
Since her death, Mr Mullen has received hundreds of messages of condolence and tributes to his wife, including many posts on his Facebook page.
One of them, by Lorraine Snelson-Shaw, said: “Such sad news when you had such a beautiful relationship, the love you had for each other was so obvious, my thoughts are with you.”
Rachel Fay Atkin wrote: “I am sorry to hear about your lovely wife it is so so tragic. I hope there is some comfort in that she was so happy with you at the end and she was Mrs Mullen.”
Ryan Heath Jason said: “That is tragic news, my heart and soul goes out to you. She was a wonderful person and clearly thought the world of you.”
Following Mrs Mullen’s death Scarborough Hospital released a statement saying: “A patient passed away at the weekend that had the H1N1 strain. We had a positive result for swine flu, however the patient had underlying health issues and developed complications of influenza.
“In terms of general advice, we would like to urge pregnant women and people who are over 65 or have a long term condition to have a flu jab to help keep them healthy over the winter.
“People who had a seasonal flu jab last year will need to get a new jab this winter. This year’s seasonal flu vaccine protects against three strains of flu that are circulating this winter, including H1N1 (swine flu).”
“Most people who contract seasonal flu will start to feel better after a few days without needing to go to their GP or A&E. It is important to stay at home, to reduce the chance of spreading the virus to other people. Avoid visiting friends and relatives who may be at risk.
“If you think you need help or advice, then telephone your GP or your local pharmacist. If your condition suddenly deteriorates is still getting worse after three or four days, then telephone your GP.”