Local pregnant woman dies from H1N1 flu

EL MONTE, Calif. Jorge Gonzalez is living a nightmare. On Sunday his wife, Monica Rodriguez, died from complications of swine flu. She was five months pregnant.

"May all the women who are expecting really take care of themselves," said Gonzalez. "It's hard to be in this situation to lose my wife and to lose my daughter."

Gonzalez says his wife started feeling sick about two weeks ago. She made two trips to Greater El Monte Hospital. The first trip she became frustrated by the wait and left.

The second trip she was taken there by paramedics, treated and released.

It wasn't until Gonzalez drove his wife to Methodist Hospital in Arcadia the next night that the 27-year-old was officially diagnosed with the H1N1 virus. Rodriguez spent 10 days in the ICU.

"She could not breathe. She told me she would be fine. Sadly, those were the last words I heard from my wife," said Gonzalez.

Health officials say pregnant women are at high risk for catching swine flu. This is why expectant mothers are being urged to get the H1N1 vaccine.

Gonzalez says it's too late for his wife, but he will make sure their 5-year-old daughter will get the shot.

"My wife will always know that I love her, wherever she may be," said Gonzalez.

Eyewitness News asked officials Wednesday at Greater El Monte Hospital why they did not initially diagnose Monica Rodriguez with swine flu. They could not comment about the case due to patient confidentiality laws.

Jorge Gonzalez drives a cab for a living and is now trying to raise money for his wife's funeral.

If you would like to donate money to the Gonzalez family send it to:

    Chase Bank
    11001 Valley Mall, El Monte, CA 91731
    Account Number: 4953889628
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