Weatherford teacher dies after contracting the flu

People in the Parker County city of Weatherford are mourning the loss of a second-grade teacher who died from complications of the flu.

The Weatherford school district confirmed Heather Holland, a second-grade teacher at Ikard Elementary, passed away on Sunday. Holland was a young mother of two.

Frank Holland told FOX4 his wife started feeling sick last Monday but went to work. By Wednesday, he said she was diagnosed with Influenza-B and developed pneumonia. Holland's husband says she was otherwise healthy and had no underlying medical issues. When she wasn't getting better, she was admitted to the hospital on Friday. She died Sunday morning at Harris Methodist in Fort Worth.

Clark Bosher is pastor at Willow Park Baptist Church where Holland and her family worshiped.

"She wouldn't go get medicine because she's a mama. Mama's are tough. She just kept going. She had a job; she had kids. Frank was going to be out of town for a day or two. 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," Bosher said.

The family's pastor said he got a call about 9:30 p.m. Saturday night before he even knew she was sick. 

"At midnight, she's on dialysis. By four o'clock, they are calling me saying this thing is going south. And by the time I get back over there, they told me she had passed away," he said.

Weatherford ISD said it has been deep cleaning all schools on a regular basis since December. Ikard Elementary got another cleaning last Friday.

Parents are alarmed by how suddenly it all happened. Lindsay Larosa's second grader is friends with Holland's son.

"Her son and Caleb were good friends. They hung out together at birthday parties,” Larosa said. “She was a very kind lady, good teacher. Everybody talked very highly of her.”

"You never know some people younger and older doesn't impact them as hard, and then you hear of somebody young die,” said parent Mirella Ramirez. “Do whatever you can to prevent yourself from getting sick. And if you do get sick, take it seriously. Go see a doctor.”

“As you might expect, today is a difficult day at that campus and we are working our processes to care for students, parents, and staff,” Weatherford ISD said in a statement.

Counselors will be on campus throughout the week to help students and Holland’s fellow teachers.

Holland leaves behind two children, a 7- and 10-year-old, who attend Ikard Elementary.

"She loved kids. I never saw her one time where I had to wonder about what mood she was going to be in,” the pastor said. “She was a happy, fulfilled person. She had a great marriage. She's got a great husband. She's raising two phenomenal kids."

Holland's husband expressed anger over teacher insurance. He said even with insurance the Tamiflu she was prescribed Wednesday cost $116, which she declined to buy. Frank said he insisted and went back and bought it for her.

Funeral services have not been finalized, but Pastor Bosher believes the service will be held on Saturday.