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 Healthy Calgary woman sent into coma by H1N1 infection 
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Post Healthy Calgary woman sent into coma by H1N1 infection
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Healthy Calgary woman sent into coma by H1N1 infection

By Heather Yourex and David Wylie, Global News and Canwest News Service
November 11, 2009
http://www.canada.com/health/Calgary+wo ... story.html

CALGARY — In only a few days, Jaclyn Bates went from the picture of health to a medically induced coma after being diagnosed with the H1N1 swine flu.

The fast deterioration of the 27-year-old mother of two was shocking, said her fiance Rob Pearce.

"She's the epitome of health," he said. "She just went from being perfectly healthy to ridiculously sick in a very short period of time and the doctors aren't even sure why that is."

Pearce said doctors medically induced a coma about a week ago because they "had to control her lung functions for her and do the breathing for her because she couldn't."

Since then she's improved, and is starting to breathe on her own. "It's been a long, long battle . . . they've been slowly taking her off of medication," he said.

Pearce added they may even try to wake her Wednesday night.

Officials began on Oct. 26 to immunize high-priority Canadians, including pregnant women, children under five years old and people under age 65 with chronic conditions. Clinics were immediately swamped with people who waited in line for their shots.

Since last Thursday 20 new deaths related to H1N1 were reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada, bringing the total to 135.

Though rare, other Canadians have also been put into medically induced comas after being diagnosed with H1N1. Cases include a 41-year-old Nanaimo, B.C., man who was placed in an induced coma after his kidneys shut down, and a 23-year-old Montreal woman who died after being put into an induced coma after giving birth to her son in June.

Bates' ordeal began with a fever. For several days she controlled it with Advil, but had no energy.

Pearce was also sick, and the couple was having trouble taking care of their five-month-old son, RJ, and daughter Adrianna. They were eventually forced to ask Pearce's parents to watch RJ.

"Within a couple days we decided we should go see a doctor as soon as we could," said Pearce.

The doctor said Bates needed to get to an H1N1 clinic right away. Once there, they waited for three hours to see the physician, who promptly transferred Bates to hospital because she had pneumonia.

"I ended up going to the hospital with Adrianna later . . . and that's when they told me it was a possibility that she may have H1N1 and that they were going to keep her in the emergency room overnight," said Pearce.

"The next day I went back to see her. . . she seemed fine in the morning. She had a mask on and she was breathing but she said she was feeling better."

However, hospital staff called back in the afternoon, telling Pearce that his fiance had suffered respiratory failure. Pearce rushed to the hospital.

"They basically told me that she was very, very, very sick, she has severe pneumonia and there's a chance that she may not live," he said. "At that point I was beside myself."

Bates' family stayed at the hospital overnight, but the next day Pearce was barred from visiting his fiancee.

"That's when they told me that she was H1N1 positive," he said. "I had a slight cough and they told me I could no longer see her and I'd have to go see my doctor and go on Tamiflu and it would be at least 10 days before I could see her.

"I want to be with her, but right now they tell me the best thing I can do is get healthy and take care of my kids."

Pearce said he was the H1N1 carrier, but the flu didn't hit him nearly as hard as it did his fiancee. RJ and Adrianna are receiving doses of preventive medication.

"There's so many that care about her, so many people praying for her," he said. "We just want her to come home."

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Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:43 am
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