Teenage student dies after catching flu virus

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An 18-year-old student has died in hospital after catching the flu virus.

Bethany Walker, from Applecross in Wester Ross, had been suffering from the virus at home before it developed into pneumonia.

She was airlifted to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness where she died last Friday.

Her mother Heather Teale paid tribute to her "beautiful girl", describing her as "the best daughter I could have ever wished for".

Details of the teenager's death emerged as official figures confirmed the number of flu cases in Scotland has doubled in the last week.

Eight of the 53 people treated in intensive care units in Scotland in the past fortnight have died, although officials stressed they may have had underlying health issues.

In a Facebook post, Bethany's mother said: "My beautiful daughter Bethany Walker was taken from me yesterday.

"She had been suffering from a flu virus, which became pneumonia, she was airlifted to Raigmore with me by her side yesterday morning, where she rapidly deteriorated, the staff in intensive care could not have done more, she was given the best possible treatment from a team of 8 people for over two hours, they tried everything possible but sadly despite their best efforts she didn't make it.

"I am broken, the bottom has fallen out of my world. I have my mum with me, and my wonderful son Danny Walker who are both feeling the same loss as I am. Life will never be the same again.

"Bethany, I love you to the moon and back, I always have and I always will, you were the best daughter I could have ever wished for and I will always be the proudest mum in the world.

"I have no more words. I'm truly devastated. Sleep tight my beautiful girl, your brother and I will love you forever, you will never be out of my thoughts as long as I live."

Ms Walker left Plockton High School last summer before going on to study midwifery in Aberdeen.

The school said Bethany was a "kind, caring and gifted" student who had been a "super role model" to younger pupils.

She was among students who stay in a hostel in Plockton due to distance they have to travel from their homes to attend classes.

Plockton High School said: "It was a privilege for all of us to have taught Bethany, to have known her in her years in the school and to have maintained contact with her after she left.

"It is tragic to lose someone so young and the thoughts of the whole school and the hostel are with Bethany's family at this sad time."

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