‘I thought I was dying’ – Cheshire midwife’s intensive care ordeal after catching flu

‘I have never had flu before and if I am honest, I never thought it would happen to me’

Martyne Drinkall, 44, says “flu definitely tried to kill me” (Image: MID CHESHIRE HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST)

A midwife from Cheshire thought she was dying after being admitted to intensive care after contracting flu. Martyne Drinkall, 44, is a fit and healthy farmer’s wife who works at Leighton Hospital in Crewe.

Martyne began to feel unwell at the beginning of last month before her health deteriorated and she was rushed to A&E at the hospital she works at. At this point, it was confirmed that she had influenza.

She said: “I was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit for a couple of days as I was very poorly. I literally thought I was dying; in fact, I was shouting ‘I am dying’.”

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“The care I received was absolutely amazing. I was so scared, but I eventually turned the corner and I am getting stronger each day. I have never had flu before and if I am honest, I never thought it would happen to me.”

Martyne ensures she is jabbed for flu every year, and was due to have her annual jab at the time she fell ill. The viruses that cause flu can mutate and change every year, so an annual jab is needed to ensure you are protected.

“Thank goodness I am a strong, healthy woman otherwise this would have been a very different story as flu definitely tried to kill me,” she said. “After the experience I have gone through, I would encourage everyone to have their vaccine as soon as possible so they are protected this winter. If I could save just one person and their family from going through what I did, I would be very happy.”

Martyne’s story comes as NHS Cheshire and Merseyside warns of a drop in the number of people coming forward for their vaccinations, particularly those who have long-term health conditions and are therefore more vulnerable to serious illness. The board warns that recent figures show early indications of an increase in flu and COVID-19 infections, and warns of a “challenging winter” ahead.

Professor Rowan Pritchard-Jones, Medical Director for NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, said: “We have seen a real reduction in demand for both the seasonal flu and COVID-19 booster jabs during the last few weeks. This could be due to people being unwell and therefore unable to attend or, more worryingly, it could be down to a lack of understanding or interest of how important the vaccines are.

“People with long-term health conditions are at a high risk of becoming seriously ill with flu or COVID-19, as are those are over 50 and pregnant women, so we need to encourage these people to come forward.”

Professor Pritchard-Jones added: “It’s also not too late to get an earlier dose of the COVID-19 vaccine if you need one. Vaccines are still our best protection against severe disease and hospitalisation this winter, so it’s vital that, if you are invited to get one, book in your appointment and go without delay.”

  • 05:00, 23 NOV 2022