The Courier-Mail

KATE LEFT FIGHT­ING FOR LIFE

- ROSE BREN­NAN

KATE Poole be­lieved she was pro­tected by the gov­ern­ment-backed flu shot.

The 26-year-old has had a chronic lung con­di­tion since child­hood, qual­i­fy­ing her for the most at-risk cat­e­gory, mean­ing she re­ceives the in­fluenza vac­cine free of charge.

Ms Poole re­ceived the triva­lent flu shot in April, as early as she could to en­sure she was pro­tected.

But two weeks ago she went to bed with an itchy throat and woke early in the morn­ing with a “burn­ing” chest and dif­fi­culty breath­ing.

What she thought was just a chest in­fec­tion was the in­fluenza B Bris­bane strain, some­thing the triva­lent flu shot did not cover.

“Even though they tell you you’re cov­ered you’re re­ally not. I al­most lost my life from it,” she said.

As her tem­per­a­ture spiked to 40.7C and she be­came deliri­ous for days, doc­tors al­most put Ms Poole into an in­duced coma to help her rav- aged lungs re­cover. Four days into her stay at The Prince Charles Hos­pi­tal, at Cherm­side, her right lung, which was al­ready re­duced in size due to a child­hood op­er­a­tion, col­lapsed.

“I’ve been com­ing to this hos­pi­tal for 10 years and they’ve never seen me this sick. I’m nor­mally al­ways smil­ing, happy and very in­de­pen­dent but I lost a lot of my in­de­pen­dence.”

She is still re­cov­er­ing in hos­pi­tal from pneu­mo­nia and be­lieves the bout of in­fluenza has done ir­repara­ble dam­age.

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