Swine flu case study: Tragedy struck young mother only weeks after she gave birth

AMONG the first Scottish victims of the virus was a young mother who, according to her family, was fit and healthy before she died of swine flu just a month after giving birth to her second child.

Marianne Johnston, from Faifley, Clydebank, contracted the virus soon after giving birth to Leon in October last year.

But within weeks of the birth on 29 November, Ms Johnston died, leaving behind the baby, her one-year-old son Jay and partner William Laird, 21.

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The Scottish Government linked Ms Johnston's death to "underlying health problems" but her family insisted the only factors involved were the normal stresses of childbirth.

Family members said that both Ms Johnston and Leon were healthy when they were sent home to Clydebank but the new mother complained of being unwell and developed symptoms of swine flu days later.

A GP attended and ordered her to go straight to A&E at the Western Infirmary in Glasgow due to her breathing difficulties.

She was moved to the intensive care ward and treated with ventilators. She was later transferred to London's Royal Brompton Hospital for specialist treatment but died after complications, including deep vein thrombosis and bleeding on her brain.

Following her sudden death, Ms Johnston's mother Christine, her brother John and sister Kirsty spoke of their devastation and urged all pregnant women to get the swine flu vaccination.