Joyce Dorsey was sick for a couple of weeks with the flu before going to UC Davis Med Center.
She was in ICU when she passed away on New Year’s Day.
“My heart is heavy because I miss my friend,” Dorsey’s lifelong friend Lynda Dotson told FOX40. “And when I got the call, it was just devastating.”
Devastating that a 61-year-old woman, known to her friends as being so vibrant and so young at heart, could suddenly die.
“She died of complications from the flu,” Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye said.
Dorsey is the first Influenza death in Sacramento County this flu season. Presently, there are 10 patients with the flu in the ICU.
She’d been sick when she checked in to UC Davis. Her condition worsened in just two weeks.
“It’s hard to say how this could’ve been prevented,” Kasirye said. “She had lab-confirmed diagnosis of H1N1 flu.”
We first learned H1N1 in 2009, back when there was no vaccination for that particular strain.
Today’s flu vaccine covers H1N2 and Influenza A and B.
“It’s important for people who have contact with the very young and the very old to make sure that they do get vaccinations because there are people who are not able to get the vaccination,” Dr. Kasirye said.
For friends and family left behind, the days ahead will be tough but they take comfort in the special times they shared with her over the years.
“She wanted to become an attorney. A lawyer. So she passed the bar, and she did everything that she wanted to do,” friend Larry Harris said.
“We’ll still get together, we’ll celebrate her homegoing and be there and still keep her name and everything in our hearts,” Dotson added.