CR Family Urges Residents to get Flu Shot

A Cedar Rapids couple says the flu can impact anyone, and severely. Their teenage son almost died from influenza.

Adam Todd got the flu on February 1st. And today, he's still recovering from the illness.

Sara Todd is still surprised how quickly her teenager became dangerously sick.

"I just noticed as the hours went on his breathing rate got faster,” she said.

Adam entered a medically-induced coma, just hours after doctors confirmed he had the flu.

“By midnight we couldn't wake he up we called 911 and an ambulance came,” Todd said. “He was diagnosed with pneumonia and sepsis. He needed to be put on a ventilator.”

Adam spent 11 days in the hospital. His parents say he never was sick like this before. Adam lives with a rare form of epilepsy, but it doesn’t impact his immune system.

"This can help happen to healthy people. This didn't happen to Adam because he has epilepsy at all.”

As flu season approaches, the Todd family wishes more people would get the vaccine.

“I know people say they don't want the flu shot. But to have the flu and be as ill as Adam was,” Todd said.

A thought experts at Linn County Public Health echo.

"I wish I could say, "Yes, people are lining up to get the flu shot.' Last year we had over 200 deaths in Iowa related to influenza,” Heather Meador said.

Experts say the vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu. And now is the time to get it, before the holiday and busy travel season.

"Because you want to get the shot and build up that immunity before it gets bad,” Meador said.

Right now, staff say they have every indication the vaccine matches this year's flu strain. So they, along with the Todd, family hope this year's flu season won't be as tragic.

“We're all vaccinated here. Adam, as soon as I could get him vaccinated he was,” Todd said.

Adam just gained back all the weight he lost from the flu. He was down 11 pounds.