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Day 62: That Time My Brother Didn't Die

Yesterday my sister shared an article on Facebook from the ND Department of Health about that time a couple of years back when my brother nearly died of influenza. It's sad to say, but I don't think about it much anymore, and it was such a crazy time for our family!

Check it out here: https://health.nd.gov/media/1138/flushotarticle.pdf

My brother has always been really healthy. I don't think he has any allergies and he rarely gets sick. 

A couple of years ago he caught the flu, like influenza (not gastroenteritis). He wasn't getting better so his wife sent him to the doctor a couple of times. The last time, they loaded him into an ambulance and sent him to Grand Forks! 

I was shocked to get the call at work from my sister that he was in intensive care with pneumonia! But even that didn't seem too life-threatening, since I'd only known previously sick old people who'd died from pneumonia. 

What followed was several different antibiotics that didn't work, kidney failure, back issues (from coughing), major weight loss, and almost death. There were three cases like his at Altru that year and the other two both died! 

He ended up spending more than two weeks in intensive care, and several more weeks nearly isolated at home recovering. My pregnancy prevented me from visiting him in the hospital, but my sister kept me well-informed. We had so very much to be grateful for during and after that time! 

His wife and family - My brother can be stubborn and if his wife hadn't made him go to the doctor, he could have died in his bed. The doctors said as much, once he was on the road to recovery.

Altru - he had so many doctors working on and with him and when it seemed dire, they were able to pull through for him. Doctors truly do amazing work!

Our community - He is a farmer, and this happened in April. Bad news. He should have been preparing and planting his crop, and he was able to do exactly no work! He has excellent hired help and farmers have a way of pulling together to support each other. My semi-retired dad worked his butt off, as did many others, and the crops got planted. He was warned that it could take a year or more to recover, but he was miraculously able to participate in that fall's harvest. 

Prayers - we all firmly believe that the prayers of so many helped him (and the rest of us) make it through that difficult time. 

There are so many more details to the story and blessings that came from his survival. It's unfortunate that it takes something like this, or my mom's cancer a few years ago, to remind us Norwegian-Germans to feel feelings and remember how much we love each other. Since these things have happened, I think we do have a greater appreciation for each other and are a little less hard on each other in regards to our differences. 

The Lord really does work miracles through our suffering. Amazing. 

Comments

  1. I think about it every year. I share his story often. I pray no other family goes through this each year when the flu hits. I cry each time I remember how he looked in the hospital. I cry when I think of what could have been. Why does it always take something so hard to make us remember that little things really are little and love matters?

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