PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Each year, a host of health agencies from the city, county, and state join forces to try to convince people to get a flu vaccination shot. 2017 is no different, and a woman is sharing her heartbreaking story of loss.
Lisa Rasmussen said she is out of her element in front of cameras and microphones, but she is speaking publicly about a campaign for flu shots, having never thought she would be here.
This is what I want to do, because I don't want his death to be meaningless," said Rasmussen. "I don't want his life to be meaningless."
Rasmussen is talking about her husband, Paul. Paul was a former Mesa Police officer. Although just 57 and very robust and healthy, he died on April 7, 2016 of complications from the flu. Rasmussen, as she did on Monday during an event, would get her vaccine every year. Paul, however, did not.
"He would resist, and because he was so healthy, he did not think he needed any flu vaccine," said Rasmussen.
Rasmussen said once Paul contracted the flu and was hospitalized, he acknowledged that he should have gotten the vaccine, and said he would get flu shots in the future.
Paul, however, would never get the chance.
"Unfortunately, it was too late," said Rasmussen. "I'm a widow, and my husbands gone because the flu shredded his lungs in one week. One week. And for some people, it's less than that."
The entire Rasmussen family got their flu shots on Monday, hoping to motivate others to do the same and avoid their family's anguish.
"If you don't do it for yourself, do it for your friends," said Rasmussen. "Do it for your family."