Alberta boy who was in a coma from Swine Flu has died
By Salim Jiwa
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, said his grandmother Fay Gorbous.
“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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