Jenny Ching, 51, and her entire family thought she was just battling a bad cold last week when she went to the hospital last Wednesday. Two days later, she died.
"She had the flu and she also developed a bacterial infection," her husband Matt Ching said. "It was really severe and caused severe pneumonia."
The flu vaccine was a norm for the Needham mother and her two little boys, ages 9 and 7, but Ching said he wasn't sure if his wife got the shot this season.
"I take it a little bit more seriously now because I, and I would have to say, Jen and maybe others, didn't take well dealing with colds," Ching said.
"I can't believe it because she was so healthy," said Raymond So, the owner of New Garden restaurant where she worked. "She was so happy and driven."
Her wake on Wednesday is expected to draw hundreds of people.
"The community has been unbelievable," Ching said. "The local school, our friends have just been so supportive. Without them, I don't know how I would be to help keep the boys going."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Ching's children and family.