Elk River man fights severe case of H1N1 flu
Minneapolis, MN -- It started as a fever Labor Day weekend. Denny Sack told his wife Janice he thought he was getting better and could ride it out like most bugs.
Before he knew it, the 62-year-old Elk River man was on life support, battling severe complications of the H1N1 flu virus.
On September 6th urgent care physicians diagnosed Sack with pneumonia, and sent him by ambulance to Fairview Northland Medical Center in Princeton. After two days of being treated for H1N1 and a lung infection, Sack's condition worsened.
Doctors transferred him to Fairview University Medical Center by helicopter, but shortly after he arrived there life threatening blood clots formed in his lungs and legs.
They gave him a 10 percent chance of survival, which we didn't know at the time," Sack's daughter Stephanie Roper told KARE, "They just said he was really, really sick and that the next 24 hours were going to be critical."
Denny Sack survived, but the blood clots and days on a respirator took their toll on his ability to walk on his own power. The H1N1 odyssey that began in early September continued this week with intense inpatient therapy.
"It's tough," Sack said, "You go from being healthy one day right into a long-term illness like this. It's tough."
Sack's online Caring Bridge site is loaded with photos of him living an active life, including trail riding the weekend immediately prior to the onset of his fever. It will be some time before Sack will be able to ride a horse again, let alone run his Northland Collision auto body shop in Rogers.
"Nobody expects something like this to happen from the flu," Roper remarked, "It's so hard to see him the way he is right now, struggling so hard just to walk and to do everyday activities. It's going to be a long road. The doctors say it will take two years to get back to normal."http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article ... &catid=391