Nate’s asthma exacerbated his flu illness and his heart stopped beating. He survived after a 12-day hospitalization.
Nate’s Flu Illness On November 19, 2009, 4-year-old Nathaniel “Nate” Gorenstein started coughing. As a result, his asthma flared up and quickly grew worse. The next day, his mother, who is an obstetrician/gynecologist, took him to his pediatrician who diagnosed Nate with the H1N1 influenza virus.
As Nate’s condition rapidly deteriorated, he was sent to the emergency room by his pediatrician where he was then directed straight to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). About five minutes after his arrival in the PICU, Nate suffered a respiratory arrest and stopped breathing. A breathing tube was placed in his airway and he was put on a special ventilator to save his life. For the next 12 days, the PICU staff closely monitored and treated him. Drastic changes in blood pressure, failing kidneys, and other serious problems plagued Nate’s recovery. But, slowly he started to improve.
Today, Nate is back to normal and is an H1N1 influenza survivor. Nate had received the first of two doses of the H1N1 vaccine but did not have enough time to build full immunity before he got sick. Nate’s parents are vaccine advocates and every year Nate, his two siblings, and his parents all get vaccinated against the flu.
Nate’s father, Dr. Gorenstein, is a medical advisor for Families Fighting Flu. Click here to read more about Dr. Gorenstein.
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