39-Year-Old Man Nearly Dies of Flu - Now Shares His Story

September 26, 2018

ST. LOUIS - What started out as the flu for 39-year-old Charlie Hinderliter ended with him in a medically induced coma and a total of nearly two months in the hospital.

"I went to a skilled nursing facility after the hospital and turned 39 two days after leaving the same nursing home my grandmother is in," Hinderliter said. "It's not something I ever thought I'd say."

Hinderliter went to his primary care doctor's office and thought he was getting better, "no big deal," he said. But a few days later, it was clear things were taking a bad turn and he went to the ER. 

"I don't remember anything for two weeks after checking into the ER," Hinderliter said. "I was told I had pneumonia, sepsis, septic shock and multi-organ failure."

Hinderliter is sharing his story to encourage others to avoid going through what he did last winter.

Dr. Jad Khoury, Mercy Clinic Infectious Disease, helped treat Hinderliter while he was in the hospital. 

"There were definitely days we didn't think he'd make it," Khoury recalled. "We don't normally see patients this young and healthy with such severe complications from the flu, but his age likely helped him pull through."

While the flu shot might not have prevented the strain of flu Hinderliter had, Dr. Khoury said it could have helped lessen the complications he suffered."

Hinderliter's now sharing his story far and wide encouraging everyone to get a flu shot.

"If I can prevent just one person from ending up like I did, then sharing my story is the least I can do."


charlie-hinderliter-and-friends Charlie Hinderliter (in the I HEART FLU SHOTS shirt) with family and friends after they all got them together.

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