Brian Herndon: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Brian Herndon and his wife, Jaye, and their two sons live a quiet life in Fort Worth, Texas. Their lives were turned upside down, however, after Brian came down with the flu.

After the 51-year-old father of two was diagnosed, his symptoms became progressively worse. A high fever of over 104 prompted his wife, a registered nurse, to take him to the hospital. He was admitted to a Fort Worth hospital before being airlifted to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, where he is currently receiving treatment.

Jaye Herndon said that her husband did not have any underlying medical conditions that would make him more susceptible to flu complications.

Here is what you need to know:


1. He Went into Septic Shock 1 Day After Being Diagnosed With the Flu

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Brian Herndon was diagnosed with the flu on January 4. Just one day later, his fever spiked and he was having difficulty breathing. His wife knew that he needed medical attention immediately, so they rushed to the emergency room.

“He had a 104.7 temperature right away… and then he had trouble breathing. We didn’t wait, we went to the ER. It was that quick,” Jaye Herndon told WFAA.

Brian Herndon had developed pneumonia and “quickly went into septic shock,” according to the outlet. He was then airlifted to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

Herndon’s progress has been up and down since that time. He has been “intubated and in and out of consciousness” over the course of the past month.

“One minute you’ve got the flu and the next minute you’re septic,” he told WFAA.


2. Both of His Lower Legs Have Been Amputated & He Might Lose His Fingers as Well

Brian Herndon flu GoFundMe

Septic shock is very dangerous and can be life-threatening. According to Health Line, “it occurs when chemicals that fight infection by triggering inflammatory reactions are released into the bloodstream.”

There are a variety of different causes of septic shock, one of them being pneumonia. Septic shock can cause any and all of a person’s major organs (including the heart and the kidneys) to shut down. Additionally, when blockages inside the blood vessels prevent the body’s tissues from receiving oxygen, that tissue dies.

This is what has happened to Herndon. The tissue in his feet and lower legs died, causing doctors to remove his lower limbs. The tissue in his fingers has also been affected by the sepsis, which means that he may need to have his fingers amputated as well. So far, only parts of Herndon’s fingers have been removed as doctors are trying their best to save whatever they can.

“With sepsis, the blood’s clotting mechanism can go into overdrive and cause blockages inside the blood vessels. When blood can’t pass through the blood vessels, oxygen, and vital nutrients can’t get to the body’s tissues. If the tissues can’t get the nourishment they need, the tissues die. When too much of the tissue dies, it has to be removed. Sometimes, doctors can remove just a small part, but other times, more drastic measures must be taken and parts of the body must be amputated,” according to the Sepsis Alliance.

The condition is the leading cause of death in patients who are being treated in intensive care units, according to Health Line. Additionally, more than half of patients diagnosed with sepsis do not survive. While Brian Herndon does seem to be on the other side of the condition, he is being monitored closely.

 

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3. A GoFundMe Page Has Been Set up to Help With the Cost of Rehab & Prosthetics

Brian Herndon flu

Brian Herndon is now a double amputee and will be fitted for prosthetic legs. After doctors clear him to leave the hospital, he will start a long rehab process in which he will have to learn to walk again. The long road ahead is set to be very expensive as well, which is why Jaye Herndon has set up a GoFundMe page.

“As of today Brian will need prosthetics for both feet and special hand work as parts of every finger have been amputated. While this is a challenging complication, we can do this together. Our amount needed is rapidly growing but your help makes a huge difference. Every dollar will help show love to an amazing man,” reads Herndon’s “story” on GoFundMe.

On February 5, Jaye Herndon posted an update on her husband’s condition on his GoFundMe page.

“Brian had a positive day! We are still praying for healing to the kidneys and continued respiratory improvements. Also pray for decreased pain,” she wrote.

So far, just over $12,000 of the $22,000 goal has been raised.

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4. He & His Wife Jaye Have 2 Young Children

Brian and Jaye Herndon are proud parents to two young children. Last week, Brian got a visit from his kids, which his wife said was “encouraging.”

“We got to see the kids today as they came to see Brian. That was encouraging for him,” she wrote in an update on GoFundMe.

Jaye Herndon is splitting her time between the hospital and her home. She is doing whatever she can to support her husband and care for their kids. Thankfully, it sounds like she has some support from family members who are willing to help out however they can.

“Right now I’m still in ‘whatever he needs mode.’ That’s what you’re focused on and then you trade out with a family member and you go home and take care of the kids,” Jaye Herndon told WFAA.


5. The Strain of Flu Going Around This Year Has Claimed Several Lives

Brian Herndon flu GoFundMe

The widespread flu virus is causing complications and deaths in patients all over the country. According to the CDC, there have been at least 20 deaths of children so far this flu season, with seven of those deaths coming in the first week of January. Several adults have also died following a flu diagnosis.

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A 40-year-old California woman named Katie Oxley Thomas died following complications from the flu.

She “lost her life suddenly to acute organ failure resulting from pneumonia and flu,” according to her obituary.

Twenty-one year old Kyler Baughman died following organ failure — another flu complication — on December 28, 2017.

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