Father of 4 speaks about recovering from flu that landed him in ICU

LA MESA, Calif. -- A month after a Lakeside man was admitted to the intensive care unit to be treated for complications from the flu, he is now awake, alert and on the road to recovery.

For the last month, Shawn Burrough has been fighting for his life at Sharp Grossmont Hospital. He shared his experience with FOX 5 Wednesday.

“I’m tired. It's been a long road,” the father of four said.

Burrough came down with the flu around Christmas. He said being a U.S. Navy veteran, he thought he could tough it out.

“It just wasn’t going away,” said Burrough. “Honestly, I was more worried about my kids and I didn’t want anything to happen to them.”

Then on New Year’s Eve, Burrough had a hard time sleeping.

“I could just feel things go downhill,” Burrough said. “When I woke up I was just like, 'we have to go, we have to go. Something’s wrong.'”

His wife Jennifer rushed him to the emergency room.

“I got in line and I don’t remember anything else,” Burrough said.

Hours later, heavily sedated and in the ICU, he was fighting for every last breath.

“He was very sick,” said Dr. Fadi Haddad. "He had the flu, he had staph. On top of that, he had bacterial pneumonia and he had viral pneumonia.”

Haddad and his team began to attack the virus with antivirals and Tamiflu. Burrough was also placed on a ventilator and on dialysis for his failing kidneys. At times, Haddad said he wasn’t even sure if he would make it.

“We were calling the wife every day trying to prepare her and say you know, he’s really very sick he could die any minute,” said Haddad.

Two weeks later, Burrough began to turn the corner and has been improving ever since.

“I woke up, it was two or three weeks later and I was like, what?” said Burrough.

Burrough still finds it hard to believe the entire ordeal. He said what he does believe in now is taking care of himself.

“Don’t take any chances at all. You could be that one person. That’s what I was,” said Burrough.

Burrough's kidneys are still damaged and he has months of physical therapy ahead of him, but he has already vowed his journey to recovery will be a short one.

“I’m going to get out of this chair and start walking on my own,” said Burrough.

Burrough is projected to go home in March, but it could be earlier.

Friends of the Burroughs have set up a fundraising page to help the family with medical and living expenses. Anyone who would like to help can donate here.