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HOLLADAY -- A Holladay family is mourning the sudden death of a 50-year-old man. His family said in less than a week he went from feeling a little sick with a cold, to the hospital and Wednesday he died from the H1N1 virus.
Last week, Neil Cox was trying to get over a cold. On Friday, he was admitted to St. Mark's Hospital, and his condition quickly went downhill.
Family friend Tori Spencer said, "You just couldn't have asked for a better dad or a better friend. He was wonderful."
She said she got a call Friday morning from Neil's wife, Mary, saying Neil was having a hard time breathing and he had been rushed to St. Mark's Hospital in an ambulance.
Doctors determined he had the H1N1 virus and, the same day, they placed him into a medically induced coma. Over the weekend, his kidneys failed, and on Monday his lungs collapsed.
"Early Monday morning, they were told that he really was ... They needed to prepare for probably the worst," Spencer said.
Tuesday his heart was failing, and Wednesday this father of four passed away.
He was so strong and so healthy and just normal.
–Tori Spencer, family friend
"They knew that their dad had fought with every ounce of strength that he could," she said, "and that if he could come back to them he would have."
Family and friends said Cox was a robust, healthy guy with a big heart. The only illness he had was a common cold.
His loved ones hoped speaking about his unexpected death would warn others of just how dangerous H1N1 can be.
Spencer said, "Don't be in a position where you're already compromised and vulnerable and get the swine flu on top of it."
Cox leaves behind a wife and four children.