A ‘healthy’ man struck down by a case of swine flu spent 20 days in an induced coma and hooked up to machines as he fought for his life in hospital.
Brad Kettyle thought he was suffering from a bad chest cold and was sent home with antibiotics after seeing a GP.
But the 43-year-old’s condition took a turn for the worse just 48 hours later and he was rushed to hospital as he had trouble breathing.
Mr Kettyle, a fitness fanatic who rides mountain bikes, soon was put on life support in hospital as the infection spread through his body and began to shut it down while medics battled to save him.
His parents feared he would die as he was ravaged by the H1N1 virus – also known as swine flu because it is similar to flu viruses that affect pigs – and complications through much of December.
Mr Kettyle, from the Canadian city of Calgary, eventually bounced back and was brought out of the medically induced coma, Global News reported.
He’s now recovering at home but is 50lbs (3.5st) lighter and much weaker, and feels that he is lucky to alive.
Mr Kettyle, who had no known underlying health problems when he fell ill, told Global News: “What I thought was a cold turned into the flu, turned into a near-death experience for me."
He said he saw a GP on December 10 and went home with antibiotics after being told he should feel better in a week.
However, his condition deteriorated and two days later he was rushed to hospital with breathing problems.
Mr Kettyle said: “I do remember them, in the ambulance saying that they were going to induce a coma and my thoughts on that, at the time, it would be just a day or two.
"They’d clean out my lungs or something and I would be fine.”
He was moved to an intensive care ward where he suffered respiratory failure, his kidneys began to fail and he needed gall bladder surgery.
Mr Kettyle’s condition improved and he was eventually allowed to return home.
He’s now warning others about the dangers of the flu and urging people to get a flu jab – something he didn’t do before the start of the season. What are the symptoms?
Many people struck down by the flu can treat their symptoms on their own and feel better in about a week.
However, some cases can lead to serious complications.
Spread by germs from coughs and sneezes, it is most contagious in the first five days of infection.
The NHS says symptoms come on very quickly and can include: A sudden fever – a temperature of 38C or above
An aching body
Feeling tired or exhausted
Loss of appetite
Diarrhoea or tummy pain
Nausea and being sick
Children experience similar symptoms, but they can also suffer pain in their ear and appear less active. When symptoms come on, people should rest and sleep, keep warm, take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower their temperature and treat aches and pains, and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, the NHS advises.
A pharmacist can offer treatment advice and recommend remedies.
To reduce the risk of spreading the flu, people should wash their regularly hands with warm water and soap, use tissues when they cough or sneeze, and bin used tissues immediately.
It is most effective to get a flu vaccine before the start of flu season (December to March), the NHS says. What is swine flu?
Swine flu is the name given to a relatively new type of flu virus that caused a global outbreak, or pandemic, in 2009-10, and is similar to flu viruses that affect pigs, the NHS says.
It is now a normal type of seasonal flu and it is included in the annual flu vaccine.
Swine flu’s scientific name is shortened to "H1N1".
Many people now have some level of immunity to the A/H1N1pdm09 virus.
Symptoms are the same as normal flu and they are usually mild and pass within about a week.
People with underlying health problems are at higher risk of serious illness.
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