Aztec woman initially diagnosed with hantavirus dies
FARMINGTON — The mother of an Aztec woman who died last week after an initial hantavirus diagnosis described her daughter as someone who advocated for children and was always willing to give people a second chance.
Kiley Lane, 27, died on Thursday afternoon at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, according to Lane's mother, Julie Barron.
The family's experiences, including conflicting test results, has led Barron to vow to advocate in the future for better rural health care.
"We would like to see some things change so no one has to go through this," Barron said.
Two this year diagnosed in initial tests
Hantavirus is a respiratory disease in humans transmitted by infected rodents.
San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington has had two patients whose preliminary tests for hantavirus were positive, according to spokeswoman Laura Werbner.
She added additional testing performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were negative for the disease.
Barron said the CDC tests were not conducted on her daughter until about a month after the first test — after Lane was transported to Albuquerque — and those tests showed she no longer had an active strain of hantavirus in her system.
Lane made two trips to San Juan Regional before she initially tested positive for hantavirus.
Barron visited Lane on Feb. 1 and saw that her daughter looked worse and could not walk on her own. Lane was hospitalized and tested for hantavirus on Feb 3.
The preliminary results received on Feb. 5 were positive for the virus and she was transported to the UNM Hospital, Barron said.
Barron said tests performed by UNM Hospital doctors on Feb. 5 were positive for hantavrius.
This experience has changed Barron, and she plans to be an advocate for better healthcare in rural areas.
Barron questioned the reliability of the hantavirus test used at San Juan Regional, and wondered why the CDC tests were not used in the first place.
No update was available on the second case.
George Hernandez told The Farmington Daily Times his nine-year-old son, Fernando Hernandez of Bloomfield, was diagnosed with hantavirus in late February. George could not be reached for comment today.
There are no confirmed cases of hantavirus in New Mexico this year, according to NMDOH spokesman Paul Rhien.
He said the state health department investigates and takes all reported cases of hantavirus seriously.
Family thankful for support
Lane, a mother of one, was dealing with several medical complications when the family decided to turn down the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine and let her die peacefully, Barron said.
The ECMO machine provides life support by pumping and oxygenating a patient's blood.
Some of the complications Lane developed included a hole in her trachea and multiple infections. She was having difficulty with her lungs.
Barron thanked the staff at UNM Hospital for how well they took care of Lane as they exhausted every available option for treatment.
"We can't thank the people who took care of her enough," Barron said.
About 50 people, including friends and family, visited Lane on Thursday.
Lane's life celebration and memorial services are scheduled for Saturday in Cedar Crest.
Donations for Lane can be made at http://bit.ly/kileylane.
Donations for Fernando can be made at http://bit.ly/fernandodonations.
Information on Hantavirus can be found at http://bit.ly/NMDOHhantavirus.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.