Teen dies two days after getting the flu
The family of a 13-year-old girl who died of the flu in Victoria last week has shared their heartbreak at the shocking news.
Crystal-Lee Wightley died at home just three days after falling ill on Tuesday night with typical symptoms including a fever, body aches and an intermittent cough.
Her mother Dymanty Fulham had a doctor's appointment scheduled for Crystal-Lee on Friday morning, but she found the schoolgirl unconscious in her bedroom early that morning.
She called triple-0 but paramedics could not revive her daughter, and she was pronounced dead at her home in the rural township of Baxter, on the Mornington Peninsula.
"We are all shattered, everyone is mourning," Crystal-Lee's aunt, Yvette Southgate, told the Sunday Herald Sun.
"None of us thought we needed to go to the hospital, she was perfectly healthy and was giggling and laughing with her cousins days before.
"Crystal wasn't showing signs this was coming, but this was deadly.
"We are in a fair bit of denial - it seems so impossible, it shouldn't be allowed to happen."
Crystal-Lee, who was a fit and healthy teen and dreamt of playing AFLW, was remembered as "divine and full of sunshine".
"She was a happy soul, just a delight," Mrs Southgate said.
Her aunt Channi Gartland wrote in a post that Crystal-Lee was getting excited and counting down the weeks to her 14th birthday.
"Crystal was kind, smart, beautiful and had come backs that would make a room stop and then laugh," she wrote.
"On Monday I was sitting with her for the afternoon talking about baby names of her baby cousin she was getting ready to meet.
"Every name went through Crystal. She was honest. She was caring and her heart was in the right place when to came to caring for the little people in her life.
"Baby girl ... I love you. I miss you and I'm so sorry I couldn't protect you."
Crystal-Lee's grandmother Karyn James Wightley also shared her pain at losing her granddaughter, saying she couldn't stop crying for her "beautiful girl".
"I am heartbroken and life will never be the same," she wrote on Facebook.
Many other relatives also paid tribute to the Mount Erin College student.
"It's with huge sadness and disbelief that my princess niece Crystal has passed away this morning," her uncle Joshua Gartland wrote. "Gone extremely too soon … (you're) such a beautiful girl inside and out."
Her aunt Stacey Rotariu wrote: "My daring girl you will be missed by all that you had in your life. You were the best cousin and Macy loved you and adore you so much."
According to the Sunday Herald Sun, Crystal-Lee's brothers and grandmother Pam also had flu-like symptoms in the weeks before but recovered.
The flu has claimed the lives of 50 Victorians so far this year, and news of Crystal-Lee's death comes after a nine-year-old boy spent a week in intensive care after also being struck down.