MIRACLE SURVIVAL: Amanda Slater looks back on the fight of her life when she suffered a near-death experience with the flu.
MIRACLE SURVIVAL: Amanda Slater looks back on the fight of her life when she suffered a near-death experience with the flu. CQ Health

'I was fighting for my life for the first couple of days'

MERE moments separated Amanda Slater from feeling ill in the shower to being rushed to hospital in a fight to save her life.

The Rockhampton woman had been battling through a bout of the flu, which she didn't feel to be a major case.

But in the early hours of a September morning, Amanda discovered she couldn't breathe.

Being an asthmatic, she blamed it on that condition.

So she decided to take herself to the emergency department at Rockhampton Hospital to treat the illness, which was contracted in 2017.

After an X-Ray was conducted, Amanda was told she had a chest infection before being sent home.

Amanda may have survived the day, but the afternoon would bring a traumatic twist of events.

It was 4.30pm when she began having breathing difficulties, which she still thought to be asthma.

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So she decided to take a hot, steamy shower.

"I wasn't in there for five minutes and I had to yell out to my son to call an ambulance because I couldn't breathe," she said.

"It just happened so quickly from there, an ambulance come...I was petrified.

"You don't know what's going on around you."

After she arrived at Rockhampton Hospital, Amanda was put to an induced coma in the Intensive Care Unit because her lungs had been drowning.

Originally, the plan was for Amanda to go to sleep for a few days to let her lungs rest, which turned into over two weeks.

"In a 12-hour period, I went from finding it hard to breathe and having the flu to being put to sleep and being told I've woken up 15 days later," she said.

"I was fighting for my life for the first couple of days," she said.

Her well-being was compromised with influenza A, pneumonia and a staph infection.

"They couldn't transfer me because I wasn't stable enough to fly to Brisbane," she said.

A couple of nights into her coma, Amanda's family were called to prepare their goodbyes.

But thankfully, Amanda's condition improved.

"I don't know why I came good, hopefully I started responding to treatment a lot better and got out of the danger zone," she said.

But Amanda was not left unscathed.

She remained in hospital for six weeks, and did not return to work for six and a half months.

"It's been a long recovery since then, I had to learn to walk again, to feed myself again, swallow, I still today choke on water if I'm not careful," she said.

And her ordeal has taken its toll on Amanda.

"It has affected me very much, It has changed my life completely, I can't put my finger on it but I'm not the same as I used to be," she said.

She has suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) since her experience, and even asked her doctor how could she conquer something she didn't know existed.

Her traumatic experience was a distressing period for Amanda's family.

"I didn't live through it, my family went through the horror of it," she said.

"My son had to go through all of it this with the thought of not having a mum not anymore."

Amanda told The Morning Bulletin she's been given the flu shot every year.

"If I didn't, that may have been the tipping point that put me over the edge," she said.

But questions are still left to be answered, Amanda doesn't know how or where she caught the severe case of flu.

In an effort to uncover details about the ordeal, Amanda still reads through her health documents.

But what hasn't changed is the illness has left is mark on Amanda's well-being.

"My lung capacity is no good, I have pockets of trapped air in my lungs (they're severely scarred), what that means for me in the next 30 years, I don't know," she said.

Amanda Slater works at Rockhampton Hospital as an administration, car park and fleet officer.



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