Flu Kills 26-Year-Old Montgomery Co. Man - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Flu Kills 26-Year-Old Montgomery Co. Man

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Andrew Pogoda thought he had caught a cold but later died of the flu. Pogoda died less than a week after he fell ill. Andrew Pogoda thought he had caught a cold but later died of the flu. Pogoda died less than a week after he fell ill.

If you're still not taking the current flu outbreak seriously and haven't been vaccinated yet, this next story might change your mind.  A young man from Montgomery County died from the flu, less than a week after he fell ill.

The Pogoda family of Lansdale is an especially tight-knit family.  Andrew Pogoda and his older sister, both adults, still lived with their parents, and celebrated Christmas together last month.  Four days later, on December 29th, Andrew Pogoda caught what he thought was a cold.

Pogoda's sister Justyna told Fox 29 no one was especially worried.  "He was sick, but he was still walking around doing things, you know.  And then on Tuesday, it was on Monday or Tuesday, he literally did not get out of bed, so we knew he was sick, but reading about the flu, since it was the flu, what do you do?  You sit at home," Justyna Pogoda explained.

Her brother did not have health insurance, so he didn't go to the doctor right away.  "When he started to wheeze, I'm like, maybe you should go to the emergency," Justyna said she told her brother.  "He's like, I'll be okay, I can wait another day."  So he did.  

But by the next day, when Pogoda finally made it to the hospital, his condition had deteriorated badly.  His heart had stopped, but doctors managed to revive him.  In a final bid to save his life, crews transferred him by helicopter to a larger hospital.

"He literally got off the roof and then he went into shock again," Justyna Pogoda explained.  "And then they started doing CPR again, they just couldn't.  His blood turned into acid, they said they couldn't save him."

That was on January third, five days after Andrew Pogoda fell ill.  He was only 26 years old.  Pogoda did have asthma, a condition experts say put him at higher risk when he caught the flu.  But he never got vaccinated.  "He didn't like getting shots," Justyna Pogoda said.  "He just thought, whatever happens, happens."

No one knows whether a vaccine could have saved his life.  A Montgomery County health official told Fox 29 a flu shot would have protected him against 90 percent of the flu bugs present in the county.  But no flu vaccine is perfect.

Pogoda's sister does have this advice for the rest of us:  "Go to the doctor as soon as you feel sick," Justyna Pogoda advised.  "His last Facebook post was, I feel like I'm going to die.  That was his last Facebook post.  He was that sick."

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