North Carolina woman who nearly died from flu complications urges others to get their flu shot

Posted at 7:39 AM, Jan 17, 2020

ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) - An Alamance County woman is making it her mission to warn others to get the flu shot.

Jaime Bowers just got home from the hospital on Tuesday after she nearly died from flu complications.

Thirty-three people have now died from the flu in North Carolina -- 11 of them since the first of the year.

"It's scary. It's scary," Bowers told WGHP.

She still can't believe it.

"I'm just glad to still be here. It didn't really hit me until the doctor said, 'You know you almost died, right?'" Bowers said. "When he said it like that I was like, 'Wow.'"

On Thursday, home from the hospital and hooked up to an oxygen machine, she said the weeks since Christmas have been a blur.

"They put me under and they had the tubes going in me," Bowers said.

It's something her husband, Jeremy, will never forget.

He says she had a 103.5-degree fever but seemed to be on the mend.

"[But] the next morning, I had the sudden urge, something told me I needed to get her there. She was not responsive, she couldn't talk, her eyes would not open," he said. "It's kind of hard to relive all of that, it was scary, just going through all of that emotion."

For eight out of the 10 days that she was in a coma, Bowers couldn't see his wife because he also got the flu.

"We've been together since we were 16," he said.

The high school sweethearts are now reunited and making it their mission to not only lead healthier lives but to teach others the importance of the flu shot.

"After all of this, it makes me realize life is precious," Bowers said. "You don't know if you're going to be here one day to the next."

Bowers is still experiencing some complications from the flu, including acute respiratory distress syndrome.

She said some things might have been a little worse for her because she used to be a smoker, but she wouldn't wish this illness on anyone.