Flu-like-symptoms turn deadly for Eastern Iowa man - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Flu-like-symptoms turn deadly for Eastern Iowa man

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An Eastern Iowa town is shocked to learn an active member of their community has died.

According to family friends, Todd Merfeld, 35, of Nashua died New Year's Eve after complications with the flu.

The husband and father to three was a big part of the Nashua community.

Friends tell KWWL, Merfeld was the epitome of small town, Iowa; someone who knew everyone and was willing to lend a hand to anyone.

It's hard to find a picture of Merfeld where he isn't smiling or more often than not, making a silly face.

For friends, Merfeld always knew exactly what to say.

"Just make you laugh. . . He definitely knew people," said friend Tim Eisenmenger.

Merfeld had a passion for bringing people together through good food. He and his wife, Shayla, ran the Townhouse Restaurant on Nashua's Main Street until last year.

For many, like family friend Lewis Hunt, the restaurant was a centerpiece of the community.

"It was the comfort place for most of the people around here," said Hunt.

The couple cooked up comfort food with warm hearts and served the community every chance they got. Anything from hosting free holiday meals, fundraising for Toys for Tots, to sponsoring local events.

Merfeld loved and was loved by the people of Nashua.

"He was hard-working, loved his family a lot; there is too much to list. They are your normal couple with a family from small town Iowa, but they are just naturally the glue. That is kind of how that works. They don't even have to try it just happens," said Hunt.

That's why the news that Merfeld's flu-like-symptoms turned deadly has left so many shocked.

"I can't grasp it and I don't think anyone can. In a matter of two days, he went from flu-like-symptoms to his heart stopped," said Eisenmenger.

 A heart full of goodwill that had a huge impact on the community.

Friends have set up a Go Fund Me account to help with funeral expenses. 

According to the CDC, the flu is widespread in 36 states, which does not include Iowa at this time.

Reports are also showing this year's flu shot is only about 10 percent effective.

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