A Teen's Swine Flu Saga - NBC New York

A Teen's Swine Flu Saga



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    Tatiana Diaz

    Marta Diaz from Union City, New Jersey says this year she will not think twice about getting her children the swine flu vaccine -- after the H1N1 virus kept her daughter Tatiana buried beneath tubes and nearly killed her.

    "She said mom I love you, don't worry I'm speaking to God now. Then she collapsed, " said Diaz about the day her daughter was diagnosed with swine flu.

    A moment that is absent from her daughter’s memory.

    "I don't remember waking up.  I don't remember anything," said Tatiana.

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    Complications from swine flu were more severe for Tatiana because she suffers from Asthma.  She lost the ability to breathe on her own, walk, even speak.

    "It was sad. I felt mute like people who can't talk,” said Tatiana.  “I couldn't do sign languages because I couldn't move my arm so I had to talk with my eyes.”
    She spent eleven weeks in various hospitals.  The last month she worked on rehabilitation at the SPE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital.   This hospital not only became a home away from home, the staff literally got Tatiana back on her feet.  

    During physical therapy sessions Tatiana would walk through obstacle courses to work on her balance and do abdominal crunches to help with core strength

    Besides physical therapy Tatiana also needed occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, and speech therapy.  The reason: the medicine doctors gave her to combat swine flu to keep her alive attacked her nervous system.

    "She was on about 15 medications when she came in she had problems with her blood pressure," said Dr. Michele Fantasia from PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital. “Tatiana was…I should say is a fighter.”

    Soon Tatiana will be back in high school, now with a message for her friends.