ROSEVILLE, Calif. - The family of a Granite Bay woman who got the H1N1 strain of the flu is preparing to take her off life support.
Lesley Bunning, 61, could become the latest casualty of this year's flu season. To date, more than 200 people across California, including 26 people in Sacramento County, have died due to the flu.
On life support at Kasier's Roseville hospital, Bunning will have to be taken off a specialized ventilator and put back onto the standard one because long-term use of the specialized one can cause complications.
"We're hoping and praying for a miracle," Lesley's husband Bernard Bunning said. "Absent a miracle, I'm going to lose my wife."
On Jan. 6, Lesley was admitted into Kaiser's emergency room, two days later she was moved into the ICU and after another two days, she was put on a ventilator.
"We didn't realize it was going to progress that fast," daughter Allison Perrins said. "We didn't get a chance to talk to her again."
"We didn't say goodbye," daughter Tamra Alsberge added.
Bunning did not get a flu shot, which has her doctor shaking his head.
"Almost all of (the patients) that we're seeing on life support have not been vaccinated," Kaiser's Chief of Infectious Diseases Dr. David Herbert said. "Some have died, some are near death."
"They never regain the ability to breathe on their own," Herbert said. "The other thing [the flu] can do is in the process of causing all this inflammation in the lungs, it can cause other systems to fail. Kidneys, heart, brain, and that can be fatal also."
Those attacks on the body is what has changed the minds of Lesley Bunning's family members. Prior to their wife and mother getting ill, no one had ever gotten a flu shot. Now, they've all received one.
"I feel stupid, uninformed," Alsberge said.
"I just didn't know people still died from the flu," Lesley Bunning's youngest daughter Megan Bunning said.
"And if the ventilator doesn't work, we will all be there with her in that room, as she takes her last breath," Perrins said choking back tears.
Knowing that Lesley Bunning likely isn't going to survive, her family is asking for your thoughts and prayers. They said given the circumstances, and given that this likely could have been avoided, is the only comfort they're getting.