Daughter of first Napa quake fatality talks to ABC7 News

NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- Officials in Napa are reporting the first fatality from the Aug. 24 earthquake -- a 65-year-old woman who was hit in the head by a toppling television set. ABC7 News spoke with the woman's daughter in Napa.

Shannon Johnson is trying to remember the good times. In her Napa home, she's surrounded by her mother's photos and art projects.

"She was free spirited, she was an artist," Shannon Johnson. "She didn't get a chance to live her life to the fullest, unfortunately, but she made the best of it. She loved her family very much and we loved her very much."

Laurie Thompson is the first death associated with Napa's 6.0 earthquake.

Laurie told her daughter, when the quake hit she was awake, sitting in a chair watching TV. The TV came flying off its stand and hit her in the face. It was a smaller, older tube TV.

In the hours that followed, she told her family she felt fine. She refused to see a doctor, but the day after the earthquake, she collapsed and had a seizure. Her family rushed her to the hospital.

"Ten days of ups and little victories, and downs. She had a subdural hematomas, massive volume of blood, a midline shift of her brain, all of which are really, really bad," Shannon said.

There was one brain surgery and with a second operation looming, she died. An emergency room physician says head injuries can be unpredictable.

Thomas Sprinkle, M.D., from Queen of The Valley Medical Center said, "They seem to be thinking clearly and acting normal, but slowly the bleed builds up and builds up to a point to where they eventually get too big of a hemorrhage and they can't overcome it with their mental fatalities, and they just decline suddenly."

Shannon says her mother spent her life taking care of other people and even in death, she'd want to help others by sharing this story. Shannon says this poster that used to hang in her mom's house says it all.

"This is her motto, you know, she had a lot of lemons in her life. She constantly made lemonade," Shannon said.
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