As listeners know, I was away last week to be with my father in an ICU room because of the flu. He became critical in under 12 hours. Influenza B. Pneumonia. Sepsis. That’s the recipe that kills thousands of Americans every flu season. Young, healthy, compromised, elderly. The flu doesn’t care. Yes, my father had a flu shot, but the way the shot works isn’t a guarantee that your immune system will process the information in a way to protect. Or, a sub-type can mutate just enough to slip through the immune system.
He is still in ICU a week later. We still hope he will fully recover.
He likely never knew I was there. I couldn’t kiss him. I couldn’t touch him. When procedures were done, plastic eye shields or goggles were required.
Every day, the team keeping him alive held a briefing. We were invited and our questions were answered. There is no doubt he would have died without the extreme interventions that took place, and some things are still in place.
My mom, aunt and a sister waited at the end of the ICU hall every day and took turns sitting with him. We called our setup “Camp Courson.” I will return in another week or so as we navigate recovery.