Teacher Dies From Flu After Not Picking Up Meds Because Of $116 Copay

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The Texas mom and school teacher who died may have allowed her condition to worsen because the copay of her flu medication was just too high.

Shelves with medications.

A teacher from Texas has died after suffering complications from the flu, and according to reports, she might still be alive if her flu medication copay hadn’t been so high.

The Weatherford Democrat reports that second-grade teacher Heather Holland got sick this past week and had planned on getting flu medication. But once she learned that her copay was $116, she decided pick it up later.

Holland’s pastor, Clark Bosher, talked to a local Fox affiliate about the incident, saying that the Texas woman may have decided not to pick up her medicine because she is tough and she thought she could have kept on going.

"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," he said. "I think any mom does that. I don't think she is being irresponsible. I don't think she thought she was that sick. It happened so quick."

As soon as Holland’s husband learned she had decided to forego buying the drugs, he picked them up himself. Unfortunately, it was too late. Her condition continued to worsen.

On Friday, she was rushed to the hospital, and on Sunday morning, she passed away.

She left a 7-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter behind.

“I have to be strong for the kids but it’s still surreal, it hasn’t all set in,” Frank Holland told reporters. “We’ve been together a long time, over half my life. She’s my best friend, my soulmate, my everything.”

After the tragic loss, Ikard Elementary School is letting children and staff members know that counselors are available throughout the week.

"She loved helping people, helping the kids, and the kids loved her," her husband said.

As students and colleagues mourn, Charlotte LaGrone, the school district’s spokesperson, said that custodians are working hard to deep clean all local schools to help mitigate the risks of the flu spreading.

This horrific story reminds us of the difficulties many middle- and low-income families suffer because of the lack of access to affordable health care.

While in this particular case it’s unclear whether purchasing flu medications earlier would have helped, it’s clear that we have a health care crisis in this country that still remains unaddressed, and that people like Holland could benefit from real change. 

Banner and thumbnail image credit: Pixabay, soulis

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