Local News

UNC student dies from reported H1N1 complications

Posted December 17, 2009

— A University of North Carolina student, who friends said was battling complications from the H1N1 virus, died Wednesday evening, according to UNC Hospitals and a Facebook post made by her father.

Freshman Lillian Chason had been in critical condition at UNC Hospitals for weeks. Friends said she started feeling bad before Thanksgiving and went into the hospital on Nov. 20.

Flu Doctor: H1N1 can kill even healthy people

"As you all know, she put up an incredible fight, and if there was anyway she could have overcome this disease, she would have," her father, Eric Charon, wrote on Facebook to announce her death.

"I think all of us are really shocked and completely devastated. We were so full of hope the past few weeks," UNC freshman Laura Page said. "Lillian was an amazing friend. She was full of compassion, and she would always be there for you."

Page was among the dozens of UNC students who donated blood Tuesday in Chason's honor because the life-support system she was on required plenty of blood to circulate through her system.

Dr. Charles van der Horst, an infectious disease specialist who treated her, said he also was surprised by her death.

"We thought she was going to pull through, so it was particularly disappointing," van der Horst said.

He couldn't talk specifically about Chason's case, but he said people who don't have underlying medical conditions are dying from H1N1.

"We know that about at least 25 percent of people who actually die from H1N1 have no risk factor whatsoever. They are not pregnant. They are not diabetic," van der Horst said. "This disease is attacking the young and people who are perfectly healthy as well."

Six people have died from H1N1 at UNC Hospitals, and a seventh might have died from complications, officials said.

Van der Horst said it's important for people to get immunized against the virus.

Page said many of her friends at UNC have already made appointments to get the H1N1 vaccine in the wake of Chason's death.

"I can't even comprehend it," she said. "It was so sudden and so soon, and we didn't even have a chance to say goodbye."

74 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • Chatham Adam Dec 18, 3:06 p.m.

    We all know that NCStatePack would be saying exactly the same things if this young woman had been a State student. (He says as he rolls his eyes.)

  • OzzzMan Dec 17, 5:17 p.m.

    FreeAmerica, you should change your name to ParanoidAmerica. Medicine helps more than it hurts.

    My condolences to her family and friends.

  • FromClayton Dec 17, 3:30 p.m.

    There is a 30 day cure for diabetes (eat 100% raw for 30 days). freeamerica.

    Sadly, that is not true. Diet and exercise can help, but once your pancareas is insulin resistant it can not be taught to regulate your blood sugar with a carrott.

  • FromClayton Dec 17, 3:28 p.m.

    i cannot verify the accuracy of this post, but i wanted it bumped higher. It answered many of my questins and i had to read through several posts before I found it.
    Lillian had no underlying health conditions related to H1N1. Student services sent her home without treatment, and the illness developed into double-pneumonia. The blood drive was held because the machine that was keeping her alive took blood out of her body to oxygenate it, and she was losing quite a lot of it....jenek90

  • FromClayton Dec 17, 3:23 p.m.

    i wonder what her complications were? I wish someone would tell us.

  • bubbba Dec 17, 3:23 p.m.

    To all you poster that think this is not news worthy then click off. Why do you even bother to post. I have been thinking about this young woman since I first heard she was sick. This is news to me and I am grateful for WRAL to tell her story.
    Again such a tragedy. Please get your kids vaccinated.

  • SME2 Dec 17, 3:21 p.m.

    People are absolutely getting the H1N1 and paralyzed from getting the shot. Do your research! People who DO NOT know that are the ignorant. The media is keeping people ignorant and covering up real stories about this. Just like most people who die from cancer right now - get it from the "treatments". Our bodies are not designed to handle radiation. There is already a cure for aids - that works 99.9% (don't be promiscuous). There is a cure for cancer (eat 100% raw foods). There is a 30 day cure for diabetes (eat 100% raw for 30 days). There is a cure for heart disease (eat 100% raw or increase raw food significantly). Yet, the "ignorant" want to continually give these lying scientists, doctors, and pharmaceuticals our $. We are the most unhealthy nation - shows how all our smart Americans are geniuses on healthcare. I can give a similar speech for all the geniuses on "climate change". They just want YOUR $.- FreeAmerica

    So if I eat my beef tartar that will be okay?

  • csplantlover Dec 17, 3:19 p.m.

    this is very sad - wish I knew what her complications were......so sad!

  • wildcat Dec 17, 2:22 p.m.

    My condolences to her family and friends and staff.

  • findoutthefacts Dec 17, 1:51 p.m.

    "but it is impossible and unnecessary to do an article on each of them, correct
    There are articles on all of them. It depends on where each happens. If you were in Arizona (I'm making this up) and a girl from ASU were seriously ill from H1N1, you'd hear about it in the local paper. WRAL is reporting local news."scientistjo

    HAHAHAHA....yeah right. If they did one story to report she died, then maybe. This is like the third or fourth story. Anyone else who died was left as an anonymous person and one story was printed after they died.

    Once again, WRAL wants us to feel more pity for her because she was a UNC student. I am sorry she died....as much as i am for all the others who have died and WRAL didnt pay much attention to.

More...