Melbourne schoolgirl dies after coming down with flu, as horror season continues


Australia's killer flu season has claimed another victim – this time an adored 13-year-old Melbourne schoolgirl.

Crystal-Lee Wightley started feeling unwell on Tuesday afternoon.

By Friday morning she was dead, her heartbroken family has confirmed.

The 13-year-old, who was supposed to attend a medical appointment later that day – was found in the bedroom of her home in Baxter, Victoria.

Paramedics were called to the home but were unable to save her.

'She was perfectly healthy'

Crystal-Lee’s aunt, Yvette Southgate, told the Herald Sun that their entire family was heartbroken and still struggling to comprehend how quickly her health deteriorated.

"She said perfectly well," she said. "We are in a fair bit of denial – it seems so impossible, it shouldn't be allowed to happen."

In a Facebook tribute, Channi Gartland's family member said Crystal-Lee was "kind, smart, beautiful and had as backs that would make a room stop and then laugh".

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"She only got sick on Tuesday," Gartland added.

"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 heart was in the right place to caring for the little people in her life."

Crystal-Lee's grandmother Karyn Wightley shared an emotional tribute on Facebook.

"My darling I am heartbroken and life will never be the same. Fly with the Angels my darling girl. Nanny will always miss you.

"Missed and loved always I just can't stop crying beautiful girl," Wightley wrote.

Crystal-Lee's 11-year-old and four-year-old brothers had reportedly been battling flu the previous week but had begun to recover.

Her death marks another tragedy in what has been in horrific flu season.

Killer flu season

I know how to make 231 people across the country in the worst flu season on record.

More than 120,000 Australians have been sick with the flu this year.

In NSW, 66 peole have died, all of them aged over 60.

This week at South Coast nursing home at Unanderra, near Wollongong, ended three weeks later.

An aged care home near Wollongong remains in lockdown this afternoon after four residents of the flu virus sweeping the state.

Approximately 20 residents and 20 staff developed flu symptoms, five residents were hospitalized and three died.

NSW communicable diseases director Vicky Sheppeard said people should avoid visiting aged care homes if at all ill.

It also called NSW residents to get the flu vaccine.

Chevron Right Icon'It's not too late to get vaccinated.'

"It is not too late to get vaccinated, we want to remind people that the flu vaccine is still the best protection, so please take advantage of the free jab," she said.



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