How many times have we taken the flu seriously? Very rarely. Because, after all, the flu is just about fever, weakness, and body aches. But is that all? Can it turn fatal? The answer is yes. While for some, the influenza virus can mean a few days of rest, for others, it can lead to something as serious as death.
That is what happened with Allison Miller. Being aware of all the risks, she recalls an incident that shook her completely a decade ago. Serious complications from the flu led to a life-altering loss for this individual.
She was a communications director in Virginia and was 33 when she had a normal sore throat and headache. Despite being completely healthy, her health deteriorated, and symptoms aggravated, after which she was taken for a Chest X-ray, which showed up normal.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, as reported by the New York Post, she said, “It looked like it was just some sort of run-of-the-mill stuff — they gave me some prescription cough syrup and said to let them know if it got worse.”
Though her X-ray did not show any cause for concern, that same night, Miller’s symptoms worsened, and a sharp, intense back pain began. She told Fox News, “Thinking it was the flu or something I could get over, I kept waiting to turn the corner — like, this is the worst of it. It’ll get better. And clearly that wasn’t the case.”
“The next morning, when the back pain was causing her to have periodic blackouts, Miller managed to call a friend, who came over and called an ambulance. ” This is all Miller remembers.
She further recalled, “I remember being loaded into the ambulance — and then I really don’t remember a whole lot after that for about three weeks to a month thereafter. It just escalated very quickly.”
What started out as flu turned into bilateral Bacterial Pneumonia. Worse and more severe than Pneumonia, this infection impacts both the lungs and fills the air sacs with infected fluids.
Not just another viral infection, this led to sepsis that took the turn of a septic shock. She adds, “All of my organs were shutting down. Within a short amount of time, I was in the ICU and they were doing everything they could. But ultimately, my last best chance was to be put on life support.” But why did such a serious condition unfold? It was because of missing a shot.
Allison says in remorse to Fox News, “I had missed the memo that flu vaccines were for everyone, and being 33 at the time and otherwise healthy, it didn’t even register as something I should consider doing.” After five days, a rare complication came up whose solution on life support was only amputation. That is because of loss of blood circulation, which led to the amputation of the left leg above her knee after medically inducing her into a coma.
Miller explained, “By the time I came out of it, it had been three weeks. I awoke in a very hazy position — and I didn’t have a left leg.” While she spent her two months in rehabilitation, she is living with this new normal and is learning to walk again so that she can navigate through this tough world. While one can get busy in the hustle culture, never miss out on regular body checkups and vaccinations.