JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show 29 children have died from the flu this season, which is a harsh reminder that influenza is deadly.
Something that Middleburg resident, Charles Huggins, knows too well, "She was healthy Friday night when she went to bed. Sunday night she was dead."
Huggins is referring to his wife of nearly twenty years, who died of influenza just weeks ago.
"The last time I spoke to her was on the steps as she left in the rescue that night. I told her I loved her and that's the last time I saw her," he says.
Huggins' wife, Barbara was 66 years old, and according to him, healthy, "She looked young, she acted young, she never smoked or drank in her life."
Huggins says he had tried to talk Barbara into getting the shot just a couple of weeks before she got sick. He says doctors worked diligently to try and save her life, but the flu left her susceptible to pneumonia. And the combination claimed her life.
"It's just a shocker," he says. "I'm the one that's ill with lung issues, and she's the one that's in the grave today because she heard so many stories about people who got sick after getting the flu shot."
Huggins says though the two of them spent most of their life in ministry helping others, his only regret is that he couldn't convince her to help herself.
"She was my friend, she was my confidant. She was my all in all and I miss her very much. So don't let another day go by without getting a flu shot.
Huggins hopes that by sharing Barbara's story, he can encourage others to take the proper precautions so no one would have to lose a loved one to the flu.
For flu facts and where to get a vaccination: http://www.firstcoastnews.com/flu/article/291620/557/First-for-You-Flu-facts-and-tips