Family: Birmingham man in medically induced coma because of flu

Posted at 11:37 AM, Jan 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-15 11:37:00-05

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Alabama has already declared the flu outbreak a crisis. Hospitals across the state are near or already at capacity because of the flu.

Felicia York and her family found out how serious this virus is after her husband became sick in December.

York said she assumed her husband, 38-year-old Adam York, had the flu because their three children also had the flu. They tried to treat Adam’s symptoms without seeing a doctor. "You just feel bad. You just ride it out and it just didn't ride out for him," said York. 

That’s when the family decided to seek medical treatment. York said they went to Grandview Hospital thinking he would get a prescription and head home. 

"We thought we would just get medicine, get him breathing again, and go home, but they ended up keeping him because his oxygen level was too low," said York. 

Within 24 hours of getting admitted, his condition got worse. "He went from sitting up talking to me, to two tubes down his throat, sedated and on an ECMO machine to circulate his blood and oxygen instead of using his lungs," explained York. 

She said her husband was tested for the flu and the results were positive for strain A and B. She said the flu progressed to something far worse.

"If we had known it could be this bad, especially for someone young and healthy, we would have promptly went to the doctor as soon as we thought we had it," said York.

Adam has been in the hospital since the beginning of January. York said her husband is in stable condition. "He's sedated and they have him on a paralytic.. He's basically in a medically induced coma." 

She said this flu season really opened her eyes to just how serious this virus can be. 

"It's unnerving. It really is. The doctors tell us it mutates every year. It seems the flu season is getting worse and longer.

The Yorks’ are self-employed and do not have health insurance. For ways to help the family and stay up to date on Adam's progress, you can visit their GoFundMe page and the family’s Facebook page.

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