A Pennsylvania father of two has been on life support at a Pittsburgh hospital for weeks after falling ill and being diagnosed with the flu last month.
Missy Ditmore said her husband Roger Ditmore, 49, has been in the intensive care unit at UPMC Presbyterian hospital for at least two weeks after a bout with bronchitis quickly turned into a flu diagnosis, according to WTAE. She has remained at his side since the ordeal began, and has struggled to explain the situation to their two young daughters Max, 6, and 4-year-old Stella.
“They know their daddy is really sick, that he has tubes in him,” Missy told the station. “They ask every day when he’s coming home.”
Missy admitted that the family hadn’t ever gotten flu shots, adding that the vaccine could have prevented her husband’s illness from taking such a drastic turn.
“I had my mom take our kids to the hospital when this first happened,” she told WTAE. “They got their flu shots and I went to Walmart and got my flu shot. It’s really very, very important.”
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Roger has had multiple blood transfusions and is on oxygen and respiratory support, according to a GoFundMe page set up by a family friend, Marianne Streams. On Monday, a relative, Eileen Haney-Ditmore, wrote on Facebook that Roger’s health seemed to be improving.
“This morning, Roger opened his eyes after 12 days on life support,” Haney-Ditmore wrote in the Facebook post. “He blinked his eyes on command, squeezed the nurse’s hand & gave him a thumbs up.”
Just days later, an update on the GoFundMe page detailed Roger’s progress.
“Everyone was very excited because he was starting to react,” the update stated. “He even gave a thumbs up. Missy said his name and he opened his eyes, even kind of smirked. She put Stella on the phone for him to hear and he opened his eyes when she started talking.”
Still, Missy told WTAE that Roger has a long recovery ahead.
“They just keep saying patience,” she said. “It’s gonna be probably four to six months that he’s gonna be out.”
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