Local News

A Wellesley woman died of flu complications in what a doctor said was a ‘one-in-a-million case’

Price Meropol McMahon, 36, was a mother of two and a successful athlete.

Price Meropol McMahon (left), her husband, Jimmy McMahon, and their children, Rosalie and James, on the green at Woodland Golf Club.
Price Meropol McMahon (left), her husband, Jimmy McMahon, and their children, Rosalie and James, on the green at Woodland Golf Club. The couple had taken a photo in that spot every year since their marriage in 2013. Courtesy photo via The Boston Globe

Price Meropol McMahon spent Sunday at her parent’s house, taking in the final match of the World Cup and celebrating the first night of Hanukkah.

On Monday night she began feeling feverish, according to The Boston Globe. The following morning she had trouble breathing.

Tuesday afternoon she was rushed to the hospital — and there, McMahon, 36, took her final breaths.

“The doctor’s words, I’ll always remember this,” Ian Meropol, her brother, told the newspaper. “‘This is a one-in-a-million case of influenza.’”

Millions of Americans catch the flu annually, and of those cases between 12,000 and 50,000 are fatal, according to the Globe.


But it is incredibly rare for a person like McMahon to be counted among them.

The Wellesley mother of two was young, otherwise healthy, and an accomplished athlete — a Boston sports fan who played tennis, went skiing, and finished the New York City Marathon in under four hours, her family told the Globe.

At the time of her death, she was training to run her first Boston Marathon next year.

“She was always incredibly smart, hardworking, driven, she was the one that everyone knew would be successful,” Meropol said.

Her siblings and father described a woman dedicated to those closest to her. Meropol recalled how, when his sister worked her corporate job in New York, she’d hop an early morning flight so she could be home to tuck her children into bed that same night.

“She never talked about her successes in business, or running, or tennis,” McMahon’s father, Jeffrey Meropol, 71, said. “It was 100 percent family.”

McMahon was the youngest of three but always took care of her older brothers, he told the Globe.

“I always said she’d be the one that would take care of mom and me when we got older,” Jeffrey Meropol said.


Massachusetts is facing an intense flu season this year.

The illness arrived weeks earlier than it typically does, and has taken off at a higher rate much faster than usual years, public health officials have said.

Last week’s state flu report, the latest available, listed the current estimated severity of influenza as “very high,” with 4.35 percent of hospitalizations in the commonwealth stemming from flu cases.

According to the Globe, as many as 33 million people are believed to have contracted the flu across the United States between Oct. 1 and Dec. 10, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Twenty-eight thousand people have died from flu complications.