Mission: To save lives and reduce hospitalizations by protecting children, families, and communities against influenza.
Family Stories

The Hinderliter Family

Charlie Hinderliter; self
Place of Residence:
St. Louis, MO
38-years-old; 2018
Share this Story:
<< Back to Family Stories

Charlie Hinderliter

Charlie was a healthy 38-year-old whose flu illness put him in the hospital for 58 days.

Charlie’s Flu Illness
Charlie Hinderliter was a 38-year-old husband and self-proclaimed political nerd before he became sick with flu. He was generally healthy except for some mild asthma.

On January 19, 2018, Charlie returned from a conference feeling sick. By Tuesday, January 23, he was still feeling ill and went to the doctor, who diagnosed him with influenza A. Charlie’s wife was also diagnosed with influenza A at the same time. By Thursday, Charlie had developed a high fever, increased heart rate, and low blood pressure. His doctor sent him to the emergency room on Thursday and he was discharged later that same day. When he returned to the hospital again the following day, he was immediately admitted.

Flu Hospitalization
Charlie was quickly put into a medically induced coma because his flu illness had caused him to suffer from multi-organ failure, pneumonia, and sepsis. The last thing Charlie remembers from the hospital that day is receiving an IV.

When Charlie woke up, he learned that he had been placed on a ventilator to allow his lungs to recover from the pneumonia, dialysis to improve his kidney function, and received multiple blood transfusions. Following the coma, Charlie was put on a feeding tube and three chest tubes were used to drain excess fluid. He also underwent an additional operation. His family had flown in from out of town because Charlie was not expected to survive.

Charlie stayed in the hospital for a total of 58 days. Once discharged from the hospital, he still needed to regain his strength after losing 40 pounds of muscle from fighting off the flu. He went to a skilled nursing facility for three weeks to receive physical and occupational therapy and learn how to function independently. He did not return to work until 7 months after his initial flu illness.

Flu Recovery
While Charlie has largely recovered from this ordeal, he still has lasting complications. He has hearing loss in his right ear, which is a side effect of medications used to save his life, and still experiences emotional distress. The chest tube and feeding tube also left physical reminders of his flu illness.

Why Charlie Now Gets A Flu Vaccine Every Year
Charlie knows firsthand the importance of getting an annual flu vaccine. Charlie had not received a flu vaccine because he didn’t think it was important and he didn’t understand just how serious the flu can be. He figured that since he was a healthy man in his 30s, he was not at risk of serious flu complications. In September 2018, six months after leaving the hospital, Charlie got his first flu vaccine.

Charlie and his wife now share his story to encourage others to get vaccinated. They want others to know that flu is serious and that getting vaccinated can help protect you, your loved ones, and your community, including people who can’t get vaccinated themselves.

Share this Story:
<< Back to Family Stories
Stay Informed
Sign up for our Weekly Flu News and quarterly newsletter, Fighting Influenza, to stay up-to-date on the latest flu news.


You are required to accept all of the terms and conditions in this License Agreement in order to receive a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable, royalty-free license to use the FAMILIES FIGHTING FLU, INC. logo, displayed below (the “FFF Logo”), from Families Fighting Flu, Inc. (“FFF”). In order to accept these terms and conditions, you must click the “I Accept” button below.

  1. FFF hereby grants to you, and you accept, a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable, royalty-free license to use the FFF Logo, which you may download and use solely in online and print earned media publications for a period of no more than six (6) months in the United States.
  2. You acknowledge that the FFF Logo is a valid trademark; that FFF is the sole owner of the FFF Logo; and that FFF retains all right, title, and interest in and to the FFF Logo. You agree that any and all use that you make of the FFF Logo, and any and all goodwill arising from your use of the FFF Logo, shall inure exclusively to the benefit of FFF.  You also agree that you shall not challenge the validity of the FFF Logo or FFF’s ownership or title thereto during the term of the License Agreement or thereafter.
  3. You agree that you shall use the FFF Logo only in the form shown above, and that you shall not alter, modify, change, or edit the FFF Logo in any manner.
  4. You acknowledge the valuable goodwill and reputation in the FFF Logo, and that it is essential that the high standards and reputation associated with the FFF Logo be maintained. You therefore agree to use the FFF Logo consistent with the highest standards of quality so as to protect and maintain the FFF Logo and FFF’s rights therein.
  5. FFF shall have the right to review and inspect your use of the FFF Logo at any time. FFF, in its sole discretion, may determine that you are not using the FFF Logo in an acceptable manner and require that you discontinue your use of the FFF Logo.  To the extent that FFF requires that you discontinue your use of the FFF Logo, you agree that you shall remove the FFF Logo from all online and print earned media publications as soon as practicable under the circumstances, and that you shall not use the FFF at any time in the future.
  6. You must include the following notice in connection with any use of the FFF Logo: “The Families Fighting Flu, Inc. logo is the registered trademark of Families Fighting Flu, Inc.”
I Accept