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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