A healthy, athletic 17-year-old died after having the flu for a week, shedding additional light to the "epidemic" flu season in America.
Shannon Zwanziger apparently rarely got sick, as her mother Gwen told CNN. The clinic hospital that the teen visited when she fell ill told her that her sickness was the flu and would run its course at home.
Shannon rested and drank a lot of liquids, but her illness did not go away.
On Dec. 9, shortly before the teen died, she slid herself down the stairs of her home to go take a bath when her mother realized more was wrong with her daughter than just common flu symptoms.
"I helped her get in the bathtub, but when I saw her eyes, I said, 'I think this is a mistake -- we've got to get you out of here,'" Gwen, in Owatonna, Minnesota, told CNN. "She couldn't help me get her out. So I lifted her up, and she passed away in my arms."
Shannon wasn't technically dead just yet, but she never regained consciousness after that moment, reported CNN. The teen was rushed to the hospital - while she still had a faint heartbeat - but died shortly after her arrival. Shannon's liver gave out from her Influenza A sickness.
"She was such an incredible kid," Gwen Zwanziger told CNN of her daughter. "She had her whole life planned out. She was living life to the fullest. If you're going to have the perfect kid, she was it."
Gwen and her family are looking to learn more about Shannon's shocking death. They hope that more people in the future who have flu symptoms will be issued blood tests to avoid another similar tragedy.
Athletic, healthy teenagers, like Shannon, are not considered part of the biggest "risk" groups. Those who are in the most danger during flu season are people under the age of 5 and those above the age of 65, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Shortly after Shannon's Dec. 9 death, CDC called this flu season an "epidemic" because 15 children have already died from the disease.