JoJo
Jim
Lisa
Kathy
Jean
Jane
Debbie
My life stopped in its tracks. I never want to go through that experience again.
JoJo doesn’t let her chronic asthma get in the way of her fitness competitions and motorcycle trips. She hadn’t gotten the flu before, so she never thought she needed a flu shot. Then, the flu knocked her out of action twice in one year, and she learned that asthma and the flu can be a dangerous combination. To make matters worse, she passed the flu on to her sister who then passed it on to her daughter. Now JoJo will do everything she can to help protect herself and others from the flu — and that includes getting her annual flu shot.
I was pretty active, even though I had COPD. Now I’m on oxygen 24/7.
Fishing, hunting, and woodworking remained big parts of Jim’s life following his COPD diagnosis, but everything changed when he came down with the flu. He was homebound for five weeks, didn’t eat because he couldn’t breathe, became extremely weak and lost 35 pounds. He always had trouble breathing, but now he can’t do much without running out of air.
I just kept getting worse. I was in the hospital for three weeks. Everyone thought I was going to die.
For people living with asthma and diabetes, the flu can be particularly dangerous — as Lisa knows all too well. Every year, Lisa gets her flu shot. But last year she waited until later in the flu season to get vaccinated. Too late, it turns out. The flu struck her hard, and she ended up in the intensive care unit. Her ordeal has left her with diminished strength, shortness of breath and a persistent cough. She won’t put off getting her flu shot ever again.
Of all the things I do to help prevent heart disease from interfering with my life, getting my annual flu shot is probably the easiest.
Kathy has always seen to it that her family does everything they can to stay healthy, so they can continue doing the things they love. This responsibility became even more important when Kathy went into cardiac arrest following a fitness class in 2012. She knows that the flu could undo years of recovery and physical therapy, and potentially put her life in danger again.
I am far more aware of how any respiratory disease can affect me, and how it can lead to a lot of other things — none of which I want. I’ve become far more respectful of how the flu can really take you out.
Jean participates in a number of COPD support groups, which has opened her eyes to what the flu can do to people with this serious lung condition, and the sad reality that some of them never get back to where they were before their illness. She's had a flu shot every year since her own diagnosis with COPD in 2000, so she can keep traveling, volunteering, and soon, welcome her first great-granddaughter into the world.
When you go out in public — work, school or activities — you never know if the person sitting next to you might be sick. Especially for people who are immunocompromised like me, that spread of disease can really hurt us.
A lung cancer diagnosis 10 years ago hasn’t stopped Jane from teaching elementary school, working out and travelling. But the flu did, bringing everything to a halt for two weeks the year she skipped her flu shot, and reminding her just how important the vaccine can be. Now that she understands the risks, she hasn’t missed one since, for her own sake and for others.
The flu can lead to pneumonia and that can wipe you out. Why not take something that you know can help you prevent that from happening?
Debbie (and everyone around her) gets a flu shot every year, ever since the flu exacerbated her sarcoidosis and left her hospitalized for a week. She’s on oxygen full time now, and she does everything she can to help protect herself, so she can keep pursuing a new career, teaching Sunday school, and helping take care of her mom — who took care of her when she was sick.
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