By LETITIA STEIN
Times staff writer
TAMPA — A 24-year-old woman is in a medically induced coma at Tampa General Hospital after delivering her baby two months early, following complications from a swine flu infection.
Bryan Post of Homosassa says his wife, Valerie, was complaining of back pain and a sore throat, an illness that seemed to come on rapidly, when they took her to Citrus Memorial Hospital on Aug. 7. They were worried she might be in false labor, or have a kidney infection.
Within hours, he learned that doctors were very concerned that she had a high fever and the baby's heart rate wasn't doing well. They suspected that she had swine flu, which would be confirmed several days later. The doctors told Post that a C-section was necessary to save the baby and treat the mother.
That was the last time he talked with his wife, who quickly developed respiratory distress and serious complications. He said Valerie has been on life support ever since. Their healthy baby girl, Nora, is now a month old and recently came home from the hospital.
Bryan Post wants people to take the swine flu virus, formally known as H1N1, seriously now that school has resumed and health professionals expect a widespread outbreak.
"I don't want this to happen to anybody," the 23-year-old father of two said Monday from Tampa General Hospital. "This is hell."