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You have arrived at the Families Fighting Flu Guestbook, with messages others have submitted from around the country. If you choose to sign the Guestbook, your message - along with your name and city of residence - will appear on the page shortly after your submission.
Julie Tuggle (Las Vegas, NV)
Bravo on your courage and your work!
James Wilson, MD (Cedaredge, CO)
I led the team that provided warning of the Mexico crisis to CDC and WHO, later recognized to be the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. In later years, our team was criticized for raising the alarm on a “mild” strain of influenza by those who had the luxury of not experiencing loss to this virus. It is to our greatest sorrow to see these heart-wrenching stories here on this website.
Please know that we have not stopped fighting for better forecasting and early warning of future influenza crises. Your stories inspire us to work harder to see that goal become reality… and we offer but a hint of that future:
Two years ago we established the first National Weather Service-inspired infectious disease forecast station in US history. We have established similar capabilities in other countries- all with the goal of monitoring the world to be proactive and prevent loss of life. It is our belief our country (and the world) deserves better warning systems that may dramatically change the paradigm of influenza surveillance and response.
Margaret Sackos (Baker City, OR)
My son was a healthy 30 year old with a wife and a 6 month old baby. He came to Oregon from California were he and his family lived; they were here for Christmas 2009. He went to get a flu shot before all of this took place and they were out; he got sick before he could get one and was sick when he got here. He called me all the way from Orange, Ca and was telling me how sick he was and when he got here he wanted to go to the hospital. I kept telling him to go to the hospital on his travels here and he said he wanted to wait until he got home to Oregon. He arrived here at 10:30 that night and I took him to the ER. They could tell he had fluid on his left lung and were going to keep him in the hospital. He stayed for a day and they lifted lighted him to Boise, Idaho. They put him in a coma and within 5 days he died. It was the most heart breaking time in our lives. He left behind a wonderful wife and baby boy. We have all been devastated from this loss.
Patricia Haggard (Richland)
Just a shout out to other families losing loved ones. We lost our 13-year old daughter to the flu and MRSA 4 years ago. The heartache is unbelievable. That a healthy child can be in a coma after 4 days.
Eric McDonald (San Diego, CA)
I am a public health officer in San Diego and I discovered your site after a recent presentation at a Infectious Disease conference here. I thank you all so much for your website and your efforts to educate the community about the flu and the importance of vaccination. I read every family story on your site and hope you know that there are so many people who are grateful that you have shared your very personal and painful experiences so that others may benefit. Thank you!
Kelly (Lovell, WY)
I am a Registered Nurse working in Public Health. I discovered your site while studying about vaccinations. My heart goes out to all of the families that have suffered losses. I applaud your website on its efforts to educate the public about the Flu and getting vaccinated. Prior to working in public health, I was “one of the many” that underestimated the flu and the consequences of the illness. My eyes have truly been opened! As a mother of 3 children, two of which are under 5 years of age, the information you provide is an invaluable gift to the public. Thank you for your stories and your passion for the cause…because of you many lives will be saved! Best Regards, Kelly
Robert Brayden (Lakewood, CO)
As President of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition, I extend my thanks for telling the stories of influenza. You will help protect others.