Heather Holland, a 38-year-old teacher from Willow Park, Texas, died because of complications related to the flu after holding off on purchasing expensive medication, according to the Weatherford Democrat. Holland left behind her classroom of second grade students at Ikard Elementary School, her husband, and two children.
After falling ill at the end of January, Holland decided not to pick up her prescribed flu medication because she felt that the $116 copay for a generic version of Tamiflu was too high. After her husband Frank discovered she was instead relying on NyQuil, he purchased the prescription himself for her to take. Unfortunately, the illness still worsened.
Holland was sent to the ICU and died early Sunday morning on February 4. “I have to be strong for the kids but it’s still surreal, it hasn’t all set in,” Frank Holland told the local paper. “We’ve been together a long time, over half my life. She’s my best friend, my soulmate, my everything.”
Holland worked as a teacher for Weatherford ISD for four years. “She loved helping people, helping the kids, and the kids loved her," Frank said.
Weatherford ISD spokesperson Charlotte LaGrone said the district is taking steps to make sure their campus is safe amid the flu outbreak. “Our campus custodians have been deep cleaning our schools since December and the campus where the teacher worked underwent another deep cleaning on Friday, Feb. 2," LaGrone said in a statement.
“She wouldn’t go get medicine because she’s a mama. Mamas are tough. She just kept going. She had a job; she had kids,” Holland’s pastor Clark Bosher told KCCI. “I don’t think she thought she was that sick. It happened so quick.”