'This flu took my life, and it's just a miracle that I'm here'

'This flu took my life, and it's just a miracle that I'm here'

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Despite being told to get a flu shot all of the time, many people don't do it. However, one East Texas woman is swearing that she'll never skip her flu shot again. She is still in the hospital recovering from the flu. She says she was in a coma for more than a week.

We had to speak with Brandi Howard via Skype Wednesday. She's still so sick that doctors didn't want anyone in her room. But she's eager to share her story in hopes of warning fellow East Texans about the dangers of the flu.

"This hit me so fast and so hard that and I am so scared of what I've gone through. I never ever want to be this sick again," says Brandi Howard.

Brandi's children came to her rescue just before Christmas. She doesn't remember anything, but they tell her she was in her bed, struggling to breathe, so they called for an ambulance and carried her outside.

"It was scary to wake up with tubes down my throat and something else breathing for me. It was the most terrifying feeling I've ever been through in my life," she explains.

Brandi says before the flu hit her, she was a healthy woman in her early 30's and leading an active life.

"I can't even describe the magnitude of what it has done to my body," says Brandi.

Brandi also says she can't describe how grateful she is for the staff at Mother Frances Hospital who cared for her all along the way.

"These doctors... these nurses pulled together so hard. I have never felt so much love in my life," she says.

Now, with her life that was spared, she's warning others not to forgo a flu shot like she did.

"I don't care if you have to sell something old on craigslist to go pay for it. Y'all have got to go get flu shots. It is serious. This flu is nothing to take lightly because it's a three letter and we hear about it all of the time. This flu took my life and it's just a miracle that I'm here with you today," says Brandi.

Brandi says she will have to undergo physical therapy and expects it to be months before she's back to her old self. She says she hopes to be discharged from the hospital over the weekend.
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