DALLAS – Flu is hitting North Texas hard, right now. As of Friday, Dallas County Health and Human Services is reporting 11 flu-related deaths this season.
Nita Negrete, 37, of Oak Cliff is among the victims, according to her family.
Relatives sat numb with grief, at the Garza family's home on Friday. Shaken, they say, by the unexpected death of Nita Negrete.
The woman's niece, Jazmyn Garza, said, "We were all here just laughing, making memories and stuff, and then all of a sudden she got sick.”
Family members describe Negrete as a devoted wife and mother of three. Her mom, Josie Garza, said she noticed Negrete had a light cough on Christmas Eve. She said Negrete did not think much of it until a couple of days later.
”She was coughing,” Garza explained. “She said, “Mom, you know what, this cough don't seem so serious. But I think this cough is going to kill me, because something about it is not a regular cough.”
Josie Garza said her daughter went to the hospital and tested positive for the flu. Family members said doctors sent her home with medicine. However, two days later, Negrete had to be rushed back. Family members say her condition was getting worse.
”It was the flu,” said Jazmyn Garza, “then it became pneumonia. Then it just went downhill from there.”
Relatives said the 37-year-old spent days on machines, as doctors treated complications.
Nita Negrete died on Jan. 3, 2018.
“It doesn't seem real,” said Jazmyn Garza. “We're still waiting for her just to walk in the door. She was just so young.”
“It's like a dream, you know. I want to wake up and see my baby come in, but now she's gone.They don't have no answers. They don't know why she died," Josie Garza added.
As Nita Negrete's grieving family prepares funeral arrangements, they want to share a strong message to anyone showing signs and symptoms of the flu.
“Get checked immediately! Regardless of whether or not you can afford it, whether or not you have insurance. Life is more important," Negrete's sister, Louisa Garza said.
Family members said funeral services for Nita Negrete will be held at Laurel Land Funeral Home in Dallas. A viewing is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 8. Burial is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 10.