TULSA, Okla. — 54 days of sickness and counting. It started when the president of the Broken Arrow Education Association tested positive for coronavirus.
Kristin Brown still fights to breathe. Her family remains her rock and helps keep her going.
Her husband, Union High School Football Coach Jeff Brown, said, “Until it affects you, until it touches your life and family, it doesn’t hit home how real it really is.”
Coach Brown got the virus in October. He was sick for a week. It was much worse for his wife. He said, “She spent 20 days the first time around in the hospital.”
Kristin went back home for maybe two weeks before returning to the hospital Friday.
“She’s just still struggling to breathe and shortness of breath and still has some symptoms, respiratory problems and lung problems,” said Coach Brown.
Kristin is now negative for COVID, but still recovers from its effects, as well as double pneumonia, a bacterial infection and the flu.
“She’s had fluid in her lungs since October now,” Coach Brown said, adding, Kristen got a flu shot during her first visit to the ICU.
“Getting a flu shot makes it less likely that you’ll have serious flu complications or wind up in the hospital,” said Ellen Niemitala of the Tulsa Health Department during a Wednesday press conference while pushing the importance of getting a flu shot, even during the coronavirus pandemic.
As medical bills pile high for the Brown family, a friend started a fundraiser to help.
Coach Brown said, “You don’t know the impact you have on others until something like this happens and people reach out to you. that’s been wonderful and amazing.”
The flu season is starting slow this year for Oklahoma. Tracking begins in September and continues through the following August. The current chart by THD shows 22 influenza hospitalizations and no deaths. Also, currently no flu-related deaths for the entire state.
The flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses. Because symptoms are similar, it may be tough to tell the difference, and it is possible to have both at the same time. Testing helps confirm diagnosis.
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