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Expecting mother nearly killed by Swine Flu

Updated: Tuesday, December 31 2013, 07:39 PM CST
Doctors are seeing more cases of the dangerous H1N1 flu this year.
It's such a concern that Florida Medicaid is now covering the vaccine for pregnant women age 21 and older.
Channel 3's Laura Hussey shows us why expectant moms need to protect themselves.

The decorations are up, but the Sweeney family didn't get to spend the holidays at home. Thanksgiving, Christmas, now New Years, all spent in a hospital room.
In mid-November, Crystal Sweeney thought she had a cold, but it was the H1N1 virus.
Four days after she was admitted to the hospital, her lungs were so full of fluid she couldn't breathe.
Doctors put her on a ventilator and delivered baby girl, Lainee, eleven weeks early.

Julie Kurkowski "She was absolutely scared, but she knew that everything that had to be done was the best that could be done for Lainee"
   
Lainee was tiny, but fine.
Crystal was fighting for her life, under sedation for four weeks.
She hadn't had a flu shot.

Dr. Karen Chapman/Okaloosa Health Dept. "Younger populations, middle-age populations of adults, and pregnant women in particular in Florida are having more severe diseases requiring hospitalization."   
   
Dr. Karen Chapman of the Okaloosa County Health Department says flu vaccinations are recommended for anyone over six months old, but they're very important this year for pregnant women.

Julie "Never....I've never had a flu shot in my life, never thought the flu could do this"
   
Mother-in-law, Julie Kurkowski says the family is taking everything day by day.
Crystal is awake, but she still can't talk or eat.
She hasn't been able to hold her baby.

Julie Kurkowski "Anybody that doesn't get a shot because they're afraid of the side effects...this is much worse, 'cause this is life and death."

Crystal Sweeney is getting better, she's on Facebook, she's texting. But it's not clear yet when she'll be coming home. In Okaloosa County, Laura Hussey, Channel 3 News.     

Pregnant women aren't the only ones at risk.
The Mobile County Health Department says two men died in the past week after being hospitalized with flu-like symptoms.
One was forty years old, the other 26.
Expecting mother nearly killed by Swine Flu


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