Luis Vargas

When Luis Vargas came down with a cold in late November, he had no idea how serious his condition was going to become.

“I was working hard at my job and was always on the go. I started to feel sick,” he says. “I was coming down with a cold, and I thought that this was normal from working so hard, but then the cold turned into the flu.”

In early December, Luis visited his family doctor, who diagnosed him with pneumonia and prescribed him antibiotics. “My doctor told me to see him in a week for a follow-up.  But despite taking antibiotics, each day, I was getting worse.  My sense of taste was all over the place, I was hallucinating, out of breath, I had a fever and was sweating.  It was a nightmare,” recalls Luis, “I felt like I was dying.”

On the advice of his family doctor, Luis came to the Emergency Department and he was immediately admitted to the ICU. After a series of tests, Luis was diagnosed with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and Influenza A, and was placed on a ventilator with a breathing tube the next day.  For the next 12 days, Luis was in an induced coma.

“The next thing I remember was waking up in the ICU to a conversation between the nurses and Dr. Prodger,” says Luis.

A short time later his breathing tube was removed and he spent Christmas at the hospital recovering. “I fell in love with the staff at Joseph Brant Hospital.  The level of passion and care was incredibly genuine.”

Luis comments how he remembers seeing the hospital’s CARE values in his room.  “I remember seeing the words compassion, accountability, respect and excellence, and I received all of that. I’m thankful for Dr. Prodger and the entire critical care team.  They all changed my life because of their care and love.”

Reflecting on his life-changing experience, Luis expresses the immense gratitude he has for his entire healthcare team at Joseph Brant Hospital. “When something like this happens to you, you think about how silly the rhythm of life can be.  We need to find a balance, breathe and enjoy life,” says Luis.