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Medical Edge: Life-saving flu treatment
CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- A local dad credits a team at the UC Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute after he nearly died due to complications from the flu.
"I truly believe I got bumped in the head, and I am going back in the right direction." When you sit and talk with Joseph Hargraves and his daughter Alicia, it's hard not to feel how in an instant your whole life can change. "I am so thankful, I thank God every day for letting me see my dad."
What started as a hospital admission for trouble breathing turned into days of what eventually became a successful battle back to life. "The first five days, I remember nothing."
He credits that success of to a newer treatment which allowed him to begin to breath once again. Doctors told him that without that treatment, he almost had no chance of survival. "The nurse came out, the doctor came out, pulled us in a room, and told us how sick he was, and that there was a chance he wasn't going make it. My heart fell to the floor."
Joseph did make it and it's all due the team of Doctor Arie Blitz and Doctor Suzanne Bennett. They inserted a chest tube and connected it to a machine called an ECMO. It provides what's called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. It mimics the function of the heart and lungs. "What it essentially does, is this tube in the machine takes over the function of your lungs, allowing your lungs to recover."
Joseph says he can barely comprehend how quickly he almost died and how the right treatment, prayer and cutting edge care quickly saved his life, "the whole team did, these guys were absolutely unbelievable."
One of the reason Joseph Hargraves is sharing his story is to remind all of us to get vaccinated against the flu. He says he did not and won't ever go without it again.