Wendy came down with flu about a week before Christmas and by Christmas Eve was on a ventilator. Shortly afterwards she was transferred to a hospital in Atlanta and put on ECMO. From there, Wendy seemed to rally. Her sedation was reduced; she was able to sit, speak, joke around. She swore she'd get a flu shot next year.
Wendy's lungs remained cloudy and weak. She came down with pneumonia and then developed a MRSA infection in her trach site. Doctors began discussing a lung transplant. And then other organs began failing.
I met Wendy just once, at her wedding three years ago. Dave took the boys to visit Wendy and her husband, Aaron, a while back. Both Wendy and Aaron made a huge impression on the boys, especially on Kolbe, who loved their unique hobbies - Legos and fencing and building armor. Both Wendy and Aaron went out of their way to make the visit memorable.
In honor of Wendy, Aaron is promoting flu shots. He writes on Facebook:
There is one thing that I want everyone to take as Wendy's last wish. Before things got serious enough that she was on a respirator, I told her she was going to be getting a flu shot next year. She easily and vehemently agreed which pleased me to no end. Previously she never would take a damn flu shot because she was afraid that it might "make her sick" . . . and she would point out that since she never seems to get the flu, she must not be susceptible to it . . . Wendy spent 6 weeks in the hospital connected to every sort of medical device and pumped full of every drug that could help her. The medical bill will certainly be measured in multiple millions of dollars. However the number of tears shed for her are uncountable. All of this could have been avoided with a simple $20 shot available at any walk in pharmacy office at Walgreens, Publix, CVS, Target, or Walmart. If you don't have a spare $20 then let me know. I'd be honored and rest easier to see to it that you receive a flu shot.Aaron, I'll be getting a flu shot.
Rest in peace, Wendy.