Sacramento County's latest flu death is hitting very close to home at News10. Nancy Pinnella, a 47-year-old a national sales account manager at the station, died Saturday due to complications from the H1N1 flu.
"She was a picture of health. And unfortunately, she did not have her flu shot," brother John Pinnella said.
According to her family, the H1N1 strain of the flu took Nancy quickly. Two weeks ago she starting feeling sick. The next week, on Tuesday, she left work. On Wednesday morning, she went to see her doctor, and by noon, she was admitted to Sutter General.
By 6 p.m. she was in the intensive care unit. Three days later, Nancy died.
"She was my right hand, my partner in crime," said Shari Reisman, who worked closely with Nancy at News10.
"I'm angry," Reisman said. "We actually did talk about the flu shot and I wanted her to get a flu shot, because I think everybody should get a flu shot. She was adamant that she didn't want to."
Her brothers, John and Rich Pinnella, said no one in her family has ever gotten a flu shot. Her death has changed that; now, they all do and encourage everyone to do the same.
"You still may get the flu, but the severity of it will be so much less and you won't have to go through what our sister went through and you'll be a survivor," Rich Pinnella said.
Nancy was instrumental in many national advertising deals, including the creation of the Toyota Sports Extra, a local sports broadcast that airs Sunday night.
Nancy's office door has a single white rose on it, with a sign reading, "You are loved and will be missed."
"She was always there, she was thoughtful," Reisman said. "You'd find a card on your desk if you were having a bad day."
"She was always concerned about the other person more than herself," colleague Kelly Lowery said.
Nancy lived her life to the fullest; she completed the San Francisco marathon, a lifelong goal. She also treated her nieces and nephews like they were her own.
Memorial services for Pinnella will be held Friday in the Bay Area