H1N1 suspected in soldier's death

By: Wendy Enneking Email
By: Wendy Enneking Email

Nicholasville residents Robin and Bonnie Rankin are mourning the loss of his son Shawn Rankin. The 25-year-old Air Force staff sergeant and Kentucky native died Sunday. Preliminary autopsy results show that Rankin had the H1N1 virus.

Rankin was based at Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix, Arizona. His father and stepmother say he was in excellent shape and even passed a rigorous physical fitness test on Thursday. He began to feel ill on Friday. The Rankin's say that Shawn had a doctor's appointment on Monday and had decided that he would just rest all weekend. His fiance discovered him dead in bed early Sunday morning.

Rankin's stepmother says Shawn's death has prompted her to speak out on the importance of getting to the doctor's office if you suspect you have the flu. She feels strongly that if Shawn had been given anti-viral medication, he might still be alive.

Shawn Rankin will be buried later this week in Anchorage, Alaska.

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