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Flu victim's family hoping her death can be a lesson to others

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

The flu outbreak spreading across Ohio has claimed the lives of two victims in Lucas County.

The grieving family of one of the victims is asking for your help but also has a message to send out to everyone.

62-year-old Connie Bucklew died this past week of the H1N1 flu virus.

Her grandson, Eddie Ortega, has set up a web site, www.helpconnie.tk, to help cover funeral expenses.

"An angel. Perfect," is how Dawn Bucklew describes her mother.

Connie's daughter Jim agrees.

"She would talk to anybody and be friends with them instantly," said Jim.

Connie became sick last Saturday.

Her condition deteriorated into Sunday.

"Monday morning she could hardly walk and finally we called the ambulances and they took her to the emergency room," said Mr. Bucklew.

Connie died on Tuesday morning.

Her grieving family says she never received a flu shot.

They believe one could have saved her life.

"I think everything happens for a reason and I just hope everyone knows how important it is to get a flu shot," said Ms. Bucklew.

So far, more than $1,000 has been donated to the web site.

Folks are sending in $50.00, even $100.00, once they learn of Connie's tragic story.

"We want to make sure that people understand it's serious. If you get flu symptoms, you need to see a doctor," said Mr. Ortega.

Those symptoms include fever, chill and muscle aches.

Two things to do to avoid the flu: cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing and regularly wash your hands.

But most important of all, says Mr. Bucklew, is for everybody to go out there and get their flu shot.

Related: Health Department: 2 flu-related deaths in Toledo in recent weeks

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