RJAH nurse: the flu jab saved my life!

Release Date: 26/09/2018

RJAH nurse: the flu jab saved my life!

A nurse at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital has opened up on how the flu jab saved her life.

Sarah Kaye, Ward Sister on the specialist oncology ward at the Oswestry-based hospital, has now urged colleagues – and the public – to make sure they get their flu shots this year.

The 42-year-old, from Welshpool, found herself in an isolation ward after catching Influenza A at the start of this year – and was told she would almost certainly have died if not for the immunisation she had been given.

“I’m normally a fit and healthy mum of three,” said Sarah. “I enjoy swimming and running and I’m always busy.

“In March this year, I became unwell so spent a few days in bed trying to recover from what I thought was a viral infection.

“One afternoon, my 14-year-old daughter found me unconscious in bed, when she was able to rouse me I was paralysed from the neck down.”

Sarah’s daughter rang an ambulance whose initial thoughts were that she had meningitis or sepsis.

Sarah was sent to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, where after spending 16 hours in the resuscitation area in the Emergency Department, she was then transferred to an isolation ward within the hospital for a couple of days for further observation and treatment.

She said: “I was reviewed by an A&E Consultant and an Intensive Therapy Unit Consultant who suspected I may have flu.

“They had recently been seeing a rise in young, fit, healthy people being admitted with flu; unfortunately some of them had passed away.

“Later the same day it was confirmed I did have Influenza A. I questioned this as I had my flu jab, but the Flu Specialist said if I hadn’t have had my vaccination I probably wouldn’t have survived; it had given me some immunity against the virus.

“I don’t want any other family to go through what my family and I went through. It takes seconds to have your flu jab and it protects yourself and your loved ones.”

It is now approaching the time of year when flu arrives and starts to become a threat, therefore the flu jab is offered to all members staff at RJAH – as it is to all NHS employees.

A flu campaign has been launched across the hospital today and vaccinations are being led by Flu Champion, Karin Evans.

Karin said: “Every year the flu jab is offered to NHS staff as a way to reduce the risk of contracting the virus and passing it onto our vulnerable patients, family members, friends and colleagues.

“Frontline healthcare workers are more likely to be exposed to the flu virus, especially during winter months when patients may be infected. Flu can be mild, or an extremely severe illness which is life-threatening.”

Bev Tabernacle, Director of Nursing and Deputy Chief Executive, said: “What many people don’t realise about the flu is that you can pass the virus onto someone without having any symptoms yourself.

“We’re encouraging our frontline healthcare workers to have the vaccination to protect themselves, their family and also our patients.”


Picture caption: Sarah with her son whilst in isolation at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

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