'I should have called for help': Sabrina Squire recovers from life-threatening case of flu

'I should have called for help': Sabrina Squire recovers from life-threatening case of flu

(WWBT) - It's safe to call her an RVA legend, and it's rare to find Sabrina Squire missing from the anchor chair at NBC12 News. About three weeks ago, when Sabrina didn't show up for work, it was clear something wasn't right.

"In 48 hours, I went from having a bad cough to completely depleted, hardly able to move," Sabrina explained. "I couldn't get up, I knew I needed to call someone, but I thought I knew I had to explain but talking was an effort."

She says her cough turned into a fever, vomiting and dehydration. When no one from work was able to get in touch with her, they called her family, who found her barely responsive in her home.

"They had to break into my house," she said.

Sabrina doesn't even remember Hanover EMS rushing her to the hospital, and says she struggled to answer basic questions in the hospital.

"They told me my fever was 103, my blood pressure was low, my kidneys weren't functioning well, I was having trouble breathing," Sabrina explained. "I found out I had sepsis with the flu and they were concerned about pneumonia as well."

She spent two days in the ICU, before being moved to critical care, her quick decline a shock, because Sabrina got a flu shot in November.

"My mother told me, 'we were all worried because I don't think you would have made it another day," she said.

After 6 days in the hospital, she was able to go home and spend another week recovering before finally coming back to the newsroom.

"I am just grateful to be talking and walking and breathing without assistance, it feels good," Sabrina explained. "I'm blessed that I have a lot of friends and family who were determined to get to me."

She says those same family, friends and neighbors have continued to support her as she regains her strength. When Sabrina returned to work, she shared her terrifying experience in a Facebook post that thousands of people have continued to share.

"I was stunned I was shocked by the response," she said. "People were talking and sharing their stories and some vital information, signs to look out for."

Thinking back, Sabrina feels it has given her more of a appreciate for life and empathy for others, encouraging anyone who might start experiencing flu symptoms to not be afraid to get help.

"Don't try to be superman or superwoman, I have always prided myself on being a strong independent woman, but I learned through this ordeal,  to ask for help, it's smart to ask for help when you realize you're not able to take care of yourself," Sabrina said.

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