Woman Who Delayed Flu Shot Dies of H1N1 Weeks After Losing Baby

Chris Creekmore has made it his new mission to educate pregnant women on the importance of getting a flu shot regardless of the age of the fetus. He lost his wife to the H1N1 flu virus this week, less than a month after she miscarried the couple’s baby daughter.

Leslie Creekmore was 20 weeks pregnant when she was admitted to the hospital on January 11 for shortness of breath. Her health declined rapidly, and two days later, she was on a ventilator in the ICU -- the same day she was supposed to receive her flu shot.

The couple had researched and decided to delay the vaccine until after the first trimester, a practice their doctor recommended. It’s also the opposite of what the CDC and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says, which is to vaccinate early and regardless of gestational age.

On January 16, Leslie spontaneously miscarried their daughter, whom they planned to name Jera. At only 20 weeks, she was too premature to save.

Now Leslie is gone too. Chris posted to the “Love for Leslie” Facebook group, “She's gone now, and the universe itself is lesser for the loss … I loved her with every iota of my being and beyond, and I have no intention of that changing just because she isn't here with me corporeally."

He also posted, “I sincerely and wholeheartedly want to thank every one of you for caring and especially for supporting my mission to get people to vaccinate so fewer lives might be cut short.”

More from The Stir: 4 Myths About Pregnancy & the Flu Shot

There’s no guarantee that Leslie and Jera would’ve survived if she’d been vaccinated, but usually symptoms are milder for pregnant women that have gotten the shot.

Pregnancy puts a lot of stress on our bodies, and a lot of pressure on our hearts and lungs, which is why it’s particularly important for pregnant women to get themselves vaccinated. They are five times more likely than their non-gestating sisters to end up in the ICU or with severe complications related to the flu.

The flu vaccine is completely safe for pregnant women in its injectable form. Unlike the spray, it does not contain the live virus, but it does offer protection against several strains of the season’s flu viruses.

Getting a flu shot is such a simple thing. You can get one almost anywhere these days (they do them at my grocery store. Seriously.), and you never know. It could save your life.

Did you get a flu shot when you were pregnant?


Image via Facebook

death, health care, in the news, pregnancy health


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IHear... IHeartCake

Let's not place blame for this tragedy.  Even if she had received the vaccine, she could have contracted H1N1.  I do believe it's a good idea to receive a flu vaccine when pregnant, or if you will be around children, but I fully understand why people do not trust vaccines.  It's an individual choice.  Everyone who is going to be around newborns should also update their whooping cough vaccine, since whooping cough is making a come-back, and newborns can't be vaccinated against it, and it could be fatal to them.

jezsikaq jezsikaq

I work at a drs office and have been doing flu shot calls lately, in the close region to us there have been as of a few weeks ago 187 cases of the flu and 82% were unvaccinated and they had picked up the strain of flu that the shot covered. There have been a lot of deaths because of the flu this year, and unfortunately it is a lot of young people. Pregnant women's immune systems are competed down, I am currently pregnant right now. I always get the flu shot as does my entire family, my youngest son is immunocompromised and it could kill him very easily to get the flu. My opinion is if you are around people who cannot get the shot you should have it. 

nonmember avatar teri

I'm sorry this family suffered this loss. But I will never again get a flu shot. I was 16 weeks pregnant and everything was going great,I recived a flu shot like my doctor recommended. I miscarried by the next morning. I do not trust vaccines. I was never vaccinated as a child nor do I plan on it. My husband also is un vaccinated but we did do the delayed vaccination for our son. But he will never recive a flu shot

the4m... the4mutts

Never have, never will. And how dare you insinuate that she is somehow at fault for her loss, and her death! Her doctor said to wait. Maybe she had an underlying health condition that meant delaying would be better for her and her child. Maybe she had a history of miscarriage that would have made it dangerous to get the shot early. You are not a doctor! You are some random blogger, judging a poor dead woman, for not doing what mass media says you should do, even against doctor advice.

youth... youthfulsoul

Yes. In the heart of the pandemic a few years ago I was newly pregnant. 1st appt at OBGYN they gave me the H1N1 flu shot and me and the baby and I were both were fine. 

Nelli... NellieKane

There was no guarantee that with the vaccine this same scenario would not have played out. It is a tragedy, to be sure. But, I wouldn't be too quick to blame the lack of vaccination as the culprit.

Lucki... Luckicharmz

"There’s no guarantee that Leslie and Jera would’ve survived if she’d been vaccinated,"

That right there and the reccomendation of 3 physicians and 2 midwives is the reason I didn't bother getting the flu shot for ANY of my pregnancies. For all three I've been pregnant through flu season and come out none the worse than when I went in.  It's the individuals choice to get vaccinated and frankly there is not enough solid statistics or scientific evidence for me to side with the flu shot.

Frost... FrostyMelted

What happens when you don't vaccinate.

nonmember avatar Dee

@the4mutts the woman's own husband is blaming the lack of a flu shot for his wife's death. He is the one pushing for people to get the flu shot regardless of whether or not they are pregnant.

How did you miss that part?

Kattey Kattey

How is it that if someone contracts a preventable illness after not vaxxing, that anti-vaxxers are all "well this probably would have happened anyway, surely it isn't because of not vaxxing". However, if someone contracts an illness after vaxxing, "it MUST BE BECAUSE VACCINES ARE POISON".

The whole "I didn't and I'm okay" doesn't really cheer up those who didn't vaccinate and then suffered the consequences. It means that heard immunity, you know, that awesome little thing where since most people vax it reduces the chances of those that can't be vaxxed from getting ill, is working.

Not vaxxing, even yourself, even for something as seemingly minor as the flu, is stupid. I never had a flu vax as a child, I never had a bad case of the flu, but I'm not running around going "well, I'm fine so clearly we don't need flu vaccines, they are useless"

This isn't your average flu, this is a very serious strain, why would you not want to protect yourself? Especially since your odds of being vaxx-injured from your vax are much lower than contracting serious side effects from actually having the flu.

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