A 21-year-old bodybuilder from Pennsylvania died just days after being diagnosed with the flu last year.
Kyler Baughman, an aspiring personal trainer who was passionate about physical fitness, was otherwise healthy before he began experiencing flu-like symptoms, The New York Post reports. His mother, Beverly Baughman, told WPXI that her son had a runny nose and seemed "rundown" when he visited his family on December 23, just days before Christmas.
"I think he thought, 'I just got the flu; I'll be all right,'" Baughman explained. "'I'll just go rest a bit.'"
Baughman, a Walmart employee who also worked as a mover at a furniture store, continued on with life as usual. He went to work the following Tuesday, but had to leave early because he wasn't feeling well.
"He kinda just laid down and went about his day, and that was the day he was coughing and said his chest hurt," his fiancée, Olivia Marcanio, told WPXI. "He had a mild cough."
At that point, Baughman's health began to deteriorate rapidly. On December 27, he was rushed to a Westmoreland County emergency room; from there, he was airlifted to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he died hours later from complications from the flu. Kyler's mother says the official cause of death is organ failure due to septic shock caused by influenza.
Baughman's parents are hoping that their son's story will inspire others to be aware of how dangerous the flu can be.
"Try and know your body; don't let things go," Kyler's father, Todd Baughman, told WPXI. "Whenever you have a fever and you have it multiple days, don't let it go. Get it taken care of."