A woman has warned Australians how dangerous the flu can be after her brother died of the flu just days after he was taken to hospital for treatment.
Joel Mcloughlin, 31, from Toowoomba, Queensland, was a fit and healthy young man and active father for twin boys, then three years old, before being hit by some sort of flu in 2016.
& # 39; He was so sick when he had to call my mother to help her take care of the children. He said he felt he was dying, & his sister Kristy-Lee Mcloughlin told FEMAIL.
& # 39; He vomited violently, his urine was dark, he could not breathe, and his whole body ached. & # 39;
Within 48 hours of his first hospitalization, Joel was revealed to be suffering from pneumonia, heart and kidney failure, and sepsis.
Joel Mcloughlin from Toowoomba, Queensland (photo) was 31 when he got a particularly virulent flu
What is the difference between the common cold and the flu?
Flu and colds are both respiratory diseases, but they are caused by different viruses.
Because these two types of diseases have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to distinguish the difference between them based on symptoms alone.
In general, the flu is worse than the common cold and the symptoms are more intense. Colds are usually milder than flu.
People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. The common cold does not usually lead to serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections or hospital admissions.
The symptoms of flu can be fever or chills / cold chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache and tiredness (tiredness).
Cold symptoms are usually milder then the symptoms of flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds usually do not lead to serious health problems.
After Joel had asked his family for help, he went to the Toowoomba Base Hospital where he was immediately treated for dehydration.
Mrs. Mcloughlin said that although she thought her brother needed further testing, he was released the next day and sent home.
Because he was still not healthy, Joel went to his father's house to recover, but days later his father had to call an ambulance because his condition had become much worse.
Kristy-Lee Mcloughlin (photo in the middle with twin boys of her brother Nayte and Jayke) talked about the sadness of losing her brother Joel to the flu
& # 39; He was so worried about getting a label because he had to go back (to the hospital) despite the huge pain. & # 39;
Despite her brother's fear that his flu did not warrant a return to the hospital, it was clear to paramedics that Joel's health needed immediate attention.
Not only was he terrified, but after a white mask was applied to his face to prevent the spread of germs, it was quickly covered with blood splashes.
After Joël's first hospitalization, he went to live with his father (Joel shown on the right, his father shown on the left) to recover
What causes sepsis?
Sepsis can start with any bacterial infection. That infection can be in the bladder, or in the chest, or even on the skin.
But when you have sepsis, the infection worsens and spreads through the blood.
The body's immune response can make things worse, not better, and it can cause a sudden, untreatable drop in blood pressure called septic shock.
Despite Joël's emergency admission, the family was told within a few hours that there was a possibility that he might not be able to make it & # 39 ;.
Test results showed that he suffered from influenza A (a more serious flu) and pneumonia.
Because his body was in such a weakened state, he was immediately connected to life support.
At this point he stopped breathing and it took 10 minutes for doctors to bring him back to life.
Further investigation revealed that Joel suffered from heart and kidney failure and his lungs had collapsed.
& # 39; It just didn't feel real, & # 39; said Mrs. Mcloughlin.
& # 39; I had to call Mama who was working at the time, and I will never forget her screams.
& # 39; Dad was so desperate and my brothers and sisters struggled to get their head around what was happening. & # 39;
Joel & # 39; s second hospitalization came 48 hours after he was discharged
Tragically, it was revealed a day later that he had contracted sepsis, a life-threatening illness caused by the body's response to an infection.
Not many words were spoken, but we all thought the same thing … Joel wouldn't want a life with a huge brain injury
The reality of Joel's situation meant that doctors were not sure if he would recover from the infection – and there was a possibility that he had brain damage.
Ms. Mcloughlin revealed at this point that a heartbreaking decision was made to disable Joel & # 39; s life support.
& # 39; Joel was so active and loved being outside. He loved playing sports and playing outside with his boys, & she said.
& # 39; Not many words were spoken, but we all thought the same thing … Joel wouldn't want a life with huge brain damage. & # 39;
After Joel was admitted to hospital for the second time, the family was confronted with the terrifying reality that he might not survive his illness
It is now almost three years since Joel died, an anniversary that is difficult for the family to notice.
Her brother's twin boys, Jakye and Nayte, now six years old, now live with Mrs. Mcloughlin's mother and not a day goes by that they don't ask about their father.
Sharing Joel's story is a way for the family to shed light on how deadly the flu can be – and why people need to be vaccinated.
& # 39; Costs between $ 10 and $ 20, it's a small price to pay, & # 39; said Mrs. Mcloughlin.
Although it has been almost three years since Joel's death, not a day goes by that his boys don't talk about him
Mrs Mcloughlin is also on a mission to ensure that people with flu, especially men, take the disease seriously.
& # 39; I want the term & # 39; remove man's flu from our vocabulary. Joel was told by countless doctors and nurses that he "just had the flu," which I think prevented him from going back to the hospital after his first admission.
& # 39; I want men to know that they are no reason to seek medical treatment for diseases such as the flu. & # 39;
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