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article imageLuke's story highlights the importance of flu shots for kids

By KJ Mullins     Dec 7, 2011 in Health
On October 7, 2009 the world changed for Luke Duvall's family. Their healthy son who had just days before played a game for his high school football team was battling for his life.
Luke, a Florida teenager, came down with the swine flu after that football game on October 3 like many others at his school. Four days later he felt better but by that evening he was sicker than ever. The next day he was in a medically induced coma while on a respirator right after telling his coach he couldn't play that coming Friday night. He was 15 years old.
Luke was in the coma for 15 days. During that time there were times that the family feared the worse. It wouldn't be until October 24 that their son would be taken off of the machine that kept him alive.
One month after coming down with Swine Flu (H1N1) Luke returned home. He weighed 36 pounds less that when he had left. He was one of the lucky ones. Some of the other children that shared the ICU with Luke never came home, dying in hospital.
Luke was sickened just days after the first shipment of the H1N1 vaccine became available. Today he and his family tell others to get their flu shot every year.
“As a father, I never thought I’d have to worry about the flu threatening my child’s life. Now, we are sure to get the entire family vaccinated every year,” said Chad Duvall, Luke’s father and Families Fighting Flu member.
Every year more than 100 children die from complications from the flu. 20,000 children are hospitalized because of the disease. The Centers of Disease Control recommends that all children over 6 months old receive the vaccine.
“The flu season can be unpredictable, often peaking in February and lasting as late as May. It is so important to protect your family this season. Break the cycle and help prevent the spread of the flu by getting yourself and your loved ones vaccinated,” said Andrew Eisenberg, M.D., medical advisor to Families Fighting Flu.
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