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New Ispwich family hit hard by mom's flu death

Union Leader Correspondent

January 28. 2018 8:52PM
Amanda Franks, 38, of New Ipswich, at center with husband Andy, died of complications of the flu on Jan. 17, leaving behind her husband as well as her children (from left) Clayton Kandle, 19, Melaina Kandle, 12, Ashley Kandle, 16, and Brayden Franks, 7. (COURTESY)

NEW IPSWICH — Amanda Franks, 38, died of flu complications in an ambulance on Jan. 17 en route from a local emergency room to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, her sister Jolene King of Keene said.

“It really happened very fast,” King said Friday. “It was very abrupt and very shocking.”

“I had been talking to her, and her two younger kids and her had tested positive for the flu and we were texting about it,” King said. “My oldest was sick at the same time so we were comparing how they all were.”

Franks went to the doctor on Sunday, Jan. 14, when she didn’t get better and was running a fever, King said.

The mother of four tested positive for the flu and was given a prescription.

“She said they prescribed her Tamiflu, but the doctor said the side effects were a lot of times worse than the flu, so she decided not to take it,” King said.

So Franks returned home and told her sister she would continue drinking lots of liquids and resting.

“Her words exactly were, she was just going to keep fighting it on her own,” she said.

But the next day Franks passed out in her bathroom and was taken to the emergency room at Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough. Doctors thought she passed out because her fever got so high, King said.

She was given anti-nausea medication and fluids and was sent home to rest. Tuesday night she started vomiting and returned to the emergency room early on the morning on Wednesday, Jan. 17.

“At that point they figured out her body was in severe septic shock,” King said.

The hospital tried to arrange for a medical helicopter to transfer her to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, but the poor weather prevented a flight, King said. She had to wait for an ambulance, which took some time because of the weather.

“On the way driving up to Lebanon her heart had stopped and they weren’t able to revive her, so they had to go to New London Hospital because she had already passed,” King said.

Franks leaves her husband, Andy Franks, and four children Clayton Kandle, 19, Ashley Kandle, 16, Melaina Kandle, 12, and Brayden Franks, 7.

“Her husband is just heart-broken,” King said.

A memorial service was held at Cournoyer Funeral Home in Jaffrey last Wednesday.

“She took with her a piece of all of our hearts when she left this earth,” King wrote on a GoFundMe page she started on behalf of the family.

There is also a fund for the children at the TD bank in New Ipswich under the account Andrew Franks — Franks Family Fund.

According to her obituary, Franks was born in Peterborough and attended schools in New Ipswich and Keene. She graduated from Keene High School and was self-employed, running her own cleaning business.

King said her sister had no chronic medical conditions.

She said it was shocking how quickly her sister’s condition became severe and how quickly she was gone.

“There are just no words. There are just no words to how scary and shocking it is,” King said.

Last week, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services said 13 people have died from influenza-related illness in New Hampshire and the current flu season has many weeks to go.

The flu deaths in New Hampshire this year have been all adults, and have occurred in Belknap, Carroll, Cheshire, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham and Strafford counties.

State epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan said the H3N2 influenza strain currently circulating in New Hampshire and other states is known to be more severe than other flu strains and tends to result in more hospitalizations and deaths.

The Franks family GoFundMe page can be reached at

Health Human Interest Public Safety New Ipswich

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