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article imageAlberta boy dies from Swine Flu after 43 days in a coma Special

By Salim Jiwa     Dec 16, 2009 in Health
As Mike Gorbous, 16, lay in a coma, his parents went public urging Canadians to get vaccinated against Swine Flu. Mike died early Tuesday morning. His grandmother tells Digital Journal doctors tried their best to save the life of the grade-11 student.
CALGARY, Alberta – A 16-year-old Calgary boy who had been in a coma after getting a serious infection from Swine Flu has died, his devastated grandmother confirmed Tuesday night.
Michael Gorbous had been on life-support since Nov. 2 when he was admitted to hospital. By the time he was rushed to hospital in an ambulance Michael had severe pneumonia in both lungs and he was placed on an ECMO machine that helped him breathe.
The grade-11 boy never came out of the coma, his grandmother Fay Gorbou, told Digital Journal.
“He passed away at 4 a.m., they phoned me after six to tell me,” she said in an interview. “The doctors and nurses at that hospital were wonderful, they did everything they possibly could.”
“He was only 16 and it is a terrible thing,” she said. “My son and his wife can’t say enough about the doctors and nurses and how hard they tried to save him.”
Gorbous had previously appealed to Canadians not get complacent about Swine Flu and urged people to get vaccinated for the disease that has killed nearly 400 Canadians so far and landed nearly 500 on life support.
One of the key complications of Swine Flu is pneumonia, since the virus initially attacks the lungs and causes acute respiratory distress in some it infects.
In a previous interview, Heather Gorbous, Michael’s mother, asked people to visit the hospital to see her son if they still didn’t believe that Swine Flu was dangerous.
More young people have been hospitalized than any other age group in Canada from the novel pandemic virus. Approximately 30 per cent of all hospitalizations have been in persons younger than 17.
The U.S. centres for Disease Control estimates as many as 1,500 pediatric deaths have occurred in the U.S. as a result of Swine Flu, which prominent scientists with CDC have labelled as a young person’s disease.
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