39-year-old Gatineau woman dies 3 days after flu diagnosis

A Gatineau, Que., man is looking for answers from hospital officials after his 39-year-old wife Cynthia Thibaudeau visited four hospitals in three days before dying following an initial diagnosis of the flu. 

Donald Marengère took Cynthia Thibaudeau to the Montfort Hospital in Ottawa on Feb. 9. After a number of X-rays and mucous tests, doctors determined she had the flu and should go home to rest, Marengère said.

Marengère said she spent the weekend resting, but then began coughing what looked like thick chunks of blood.

An ambulance took her to the Gatineau Hospital on the following Monday. Doctors tried to stop the hemorrhaging in her lungs, Marengère said, but he was told they did not have the necessary equipment.

Thibaudeau was then transferred to the Hull hospital, where doctors were able to stop the bleeding.

He said that’s when he was told her heart was beating too quickly, and the Hull hospital did not have the necessary equipment or expertise to stabilize her.

His wife was then transferred to the Civic campus of the Ottawa Hospital, where her heart eventually stopped, Marengère said.

Thibaudeau’s death came as a shock to her husband, because he says she had received her flu vaccine, had no major health conditions and no history of heart problems.

Marengère wants to know why she was initially sent home to rest.

Outaouais Public Health officials have told Marengère that Thibaudeau had type B influenza, a form of flu that usually targets children, but has been affecting mostly older adults this season.

Thibaudeau was a mother of two boys aged 5 and 6. Her husband said he doesn’t want others to go through the same ordeal.