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Mother-of-two dies after flu left her struggling breathe 

Susan Kilpatrick, 51, reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest at North Manchester General hospital after having breathing problems caused by Aussie flu

A mother-of-two and teaching assistant, who suffered with asthma, has died after flu left her struggling to breathe.

Susan Kilpatrick, 51, became ill over the weekend but her condition worsened suddenly on Monday night.

The teaching assistant from Prestwich, Manchester, who worked at Philips High School in Whitefield, was taken to North Manchester General Hospital where she is thought to have suffered a cardiac arrest.

The tragedy has stunned staff and pupils at the school where Mrs Kilpatrick was highly regarded. 

The UK is currently in the grip of its worst flu season for seven years – since the Swine flu. 

This winter’s virulent strain H3N2 has been named Aussie Flu after causing a tough bout of flu there. 

Mrs Kilpatrick’s husband Gordon, 49, to whom she had been married for 18 years, said Susan had been to the doctors earlier on Monday and had been prescribed antibiotics and steroids as the flu had made her asthma worse.

He told the MEN: ‘She had flu last Friday, Saturday and Sunday and took paracetamol and ibuprofen.

‘She went to her GP on Monday when she was prescribed steroids and antibiotics. 

‘On Monday night she was struggling to breathe and was taken to North Manchester Hospital.’ 

Her family said: ‘Susan was a loving and caring mum and wife who was always there for us. 

‘She helped everyone out.’ 

Mrs Kilpatrick, who was originally from Bolton and attended St James School, in Farnworth, had a son, Andrew, 17, and daughter, Amber, 16.

One of the cards of condolence sent to the family read: ‘Sue was an amazing lady who I looked up to. I will miss her so much.’ 

In a statement Phillips High School said: ‘Susan worked at Philips High School for over nine years. She was a hardworking and dedicated support assistant, working with pupils with special needs.

‘Susan was greatly respected by the pupils who she supported and was highly valued by the staff. Susan was a fantastic member of the team and she will be greatly missed.’ 

In a letter to parents, headteacher Tina Owens wrote: ‘It is with deep regret that I am writing to inform you about a recent loss to our school comunnity. 

‘On Monday, 15th January, one of our colleagues, Mrs Susan Kilpatrick sadly passed away unexpecectedly. 

‘Staff have spoken to the pupils she worked closely with, some of whom will need extra support and guidance. 

‘The school will be providing counselling and support where necessary and if we have any concerns about any students we will contact home.

‘A book of condolences will be provided in school for staff and pupils to write in any thoughts and messages. 

‘We are all deeply saddened by this loss and will make every effort to support staff and students through this most difficult time.’  

Experts say that this is the worst bout of flu to have hit the UK since 2011.  

Hospitals are also reportedly seeing ‘very high’ rates of admissions.

It is the second tragedy in less than a year to hit the school.

In May, Arlind Koka, 15, a student at the school, passed away.


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