TRUMBULL, Conn. (WTNH) — “On my 12th birthday, I was basically passing out in bed,” says Trumbull’s Jake Nuland.
In 2011, he felt unwell but had no idea his happy, normal life was going to be derailed.
“I went up to him and his lips were blue, I thought maybe he was drinking blue Gatorade but then I saw the Gatorade on his table was yellow and I knew something was wrong. really wasn’t going,” says her mother, Lisa.
After a visit to the pediatrician, Jake was rushed to hospital with complications from the flu. He was intubated and spent four days on life support in a medically induced coma.
“The only reason I took this photo was that it occurred to me that I might not have another photo of him,” Lisa says, referring to a photo of Jake in his hospital bed.
“If I hadn’t had the flu shot, I would probably be dead right now,” Jake says.
Lisa credits the vaccine for giving Jake the extra protection he needed to survive.
A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control shows that even during a season when vaccine-incompatible influenza viruses predominated, vaccination was associated with a reduced risk of serious influenza illness in children.
“For me, if the medical community is advising – I know a lot of people think it’s big pharma and other factors at play, maybe there is. But I trust our doctor who saved his life,” she said.
Jake, now a junior in college, still lives with scars in his lungs. Every day, he participates in mechanical vest therapy to decongest his chest.
“His life has been affected by this flu even now, it takes him longer to finish his studies because he gets sick and we have to be more careful,” says Lisa.
The message from this Trumbull family? Take the flu – and the recommended measures to prevent it – very seriously.
“I just know that everything about him going to fight it was worth it to me — when you pray for a miracle, it’s the miracle,” Lisa says.
Here in our region, the flu season usually peaks at the end of February or March, so there is still time to protect yourself. Experts encourage anyone over the age of six months to get vaccinated.