‘Don’t mess around:’ Mother of 2 dies 2 days after going to the hospital with the flu

Tandy Harmon

GRESHAM, Oregon — Friends and family members of an Oregon mother are heartbroken after she went to the hospital with flu symptoms and died two days later.

“She was in great spirits — bubbly, jumping around, having a great time. Had a slight cough, but nothing that was slowing her down,” said Brad Fauts.

That’s how Fauts remembers 36-year-old Tandy Harmon at work just 10 days ago. Harmon worked for Fauts at Bradford’s Sports Lounge in northeast Portland. A couple days later, Harmon stayed home from a shopping trip with her best friend and on Wednesday, Jan. 17 she went to the hospital.

Fauts said doctors told her she had the flu and sent her home to rest and drink lots of fluids. But Harmon’s boyfriend brought her back two hours later when she got much worse.

“And immediately put her on a ventilator and from there she just went downhill,” said Fauts. “By that evening, she was on life support.”

Doctors told Harmon’s friends she had pneumonia and MRSA – an aggressive blood infection. By Friday, her organs were shutting down. Harmon’s relatives, two children and friends rushed to her side to say goodbye and she died later that day.

“I was in shock. All the people that knew her were in shock. I mean, it was incredibly sad,” said Fauts.

Multnomah County Health officials say only 10 percent of flu hospitalizations involve people 18 to 49 years old. But in rare cases, pneumonia and infections like MRSA can sneak in because the flu makes your body more vulnerable.

“I think people will remember her in their heart forever just because of her sweetness and how she treated other people,” said Fauts.

Fauts said Harmon was like family and this Saturday, she was supposed to be in her best friend’s wedding. Now, Fauts wants even the healthiest people to be extra careful.

“Don’t mess around with this flu,” warned Fauts. “If you feel something wrong in your body, go to the doctor and insist that they see you.”

Fauts is hosting a celebration of life for Tandy Harmon on Feb. 10 at Bradford’s Sports Lounge. A GoFundMe account was established for donations to help support Harmon’s children.