In a hospital in England, Fallon Devaney, a 25-year-old mother of four, lies near death from the swine flu. Even more tragic, she is pregnant with her fifth baby, a baby who may never be born. Her family has canceled Christmas while they hold vigil at her side.
Devaney was admitted to the hospital last week with difficulty breathing and swine flu symptoms, and has now developed pneumonia. Doctors put her in a medically induced coma, and have told her mother they may have to take the baby in order to have a chance at saving her life. "If she can't fight it because she's carrying the baby, we may have a very difficult decision to make," her mother told London's Daily Mail.
Pregnant women are at much higher risk of serious complications and even death from the flu. Doctors believe that that's for two reasons: First, their lung capacity decreases as their fetus grows, making them less able to deal with any added breathing problems. And their immune system shifts to protecting the baby versus fighting off viruses, so it's that much harder for them to overcome the illness on their own.
There's a lot of fear-mongering out there about vaccines, none of which has been proven. Meanwhile, there are several documented cases of pregnant women and their babies dying from complications of the swine flu. Is it really worth gambling with your life or your baby's?
Image via USACE Europe District/Flickr