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Why your child should get the flu vaccine this winter – Henry’s Story

October 23, 2019

>>Henry: Hi I’m Henry and I am nine years
old. Last winter I was very poorly because I had the flu and I had to go to hospital.>>Janine: He was fine one day, playing rugby,
came home with a bit of tummy ache. I put him to bed with the usual paracetamol, ibuprofen,
and the next day he was really very poorly, very hot, struggled breathing. So we called
an ambulance and within a few minutes he had to be rushed to hospital. A few minutes more
in A&E and then he was taken to theatre and put to sleep because he couldn’t breathe. 
Then he was taken to intensive care, which was really scary. They couldn’t look after him in our hospital
in intensive care because he was too poorly for them so they transferred him to Bristol
paediatric intensive care unit where he was on a ventilator for three days. But then he was really lucky and did recover
really well, enough to come back to our local hospital, where he stayed for another two
weeks. So we had lots of physiotherapy getting him to breathe again. He couldn’t stand up,
he couldn’t walk. So he’d gone in a few days from being a really really fit, healthy eight
year old boy, to watching him not be able to walk down the corridor was really sad.
But luckily he recovered well and he’s come home and we’re all very grateful. Henry’s recovery’s been quite good, he’s been
really quick to bounce back. He’s back to doing all his sports, he loves football, rugby,
tennis. It took quite a few weeks, and we gradually just had to increase what he could
do. Physically he’s not back as healthy as he was before, emotionally has been a bit
more difficult for us all, and Henry still feels really vulnerable that something like
this might happen again, so I think it’s probably going to take a little bit longer for him
to recover emotionally. He’s back at school, he’s doing really well in his class and loving school, and he’s really
trying to encourage his peers within his school and class to take up the flu vaccine as well
to help prevent them having anything similar.>>Henry: I tell my friends at school they should get the flu vaccine and ask their mum
and dad’s to fill out the form.>>Janine: If I could give a message to any parents, grandparents, carers out there it
would be to absolutely take the opportunity to have the flu vaccine as I really wouldn’t
want anyone to go through what we went through, and this is something that you can really
help reduce the chances of.

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