Pregnant WPB woman hospitalized with H1N1 Virus

By Al Pefley - email

WELLINGTON, FL (WFLX) - For the second time in recent days, another pregnant woman in  Palm beach County is hospitalized with the  H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu.

In this case  the woman got so sick, so fast that her husband knew she had to go straight to the emergency room.  This was no ordinary flu.

A spokesman with the Palm Beach County Health Department confirmed for us tonight that this pregnant woman, Aubrey Opdyke of West Palm Beach,  does in fact have the H1N1 virus.

They got the test results back which confirmed it late Friday.

"She's fighting and I have a belief that she will make it through this," said her husband Bryan Opdyke.

He showed us a photo of Aubrey and himself  in happier times, a wedding photo taken at the beach in May of last year.

"There's a whole lot of praying going on," he said.

Now, this 27 year old West Palm Beach woman is in the ICU at Wellington Regional Medical Center, on life-support, and according to her husband she is in a drug-induced coma battling the effects of the H1N1 virus.   "This isn't anything I thought I'd have to deal with. You hear about swine flu and that kind of stuff and you always think it can't happen to me. But at this point you've got to figure it can happen to anybody,"  Bryan said.

Aubrey is 26 weeks pregnant, with a baby girl.

"It doesn't look like we're gonna have to do an emergency C-section unless for some reason Aubrey starts to go downhill," Bryan said.

Aubrey has been hospitalized for the past week at Wellington Regional with H1N1, where doctors are treating her with Tamiflu, a prescription drug.

"She started feeling a bit of a sore throat . She started coughing a little bit, so she went to the doctor, they checked her out and nothing checked out as anything major," Bryan said.

So she went home. That was two weeks ago. But instead of getting better, she got worse.

"I was talking to her, she wasn't responsive.  She was disoriented, she couldn't answer basic simple questions, so I told her get dressed, we're going to the hospital," he explained.

He took her to the emergency room last Sunday July 5 and she's been in the hospital ever since.

"They're just gonna try to keep the baby in as long as possible and they're gonna try and save Aubrey and if they can save her and the baby, like I said that's a bonus at this point. I would love to have both of 'em," Bryan said.

Aubrey is now the second pregnant mother to be hospitalized with H1N1 in our area. Another woman passed away June 27,  but doctors saved the baby and delivered it prematurely.

"We're at the hospital every day. The range of emotions are huge at this point. It's draining, but we're just trying to get through it," Bryan said.

Bryan says doctors give his wife a 50-60 percent chance of survival right now.  He says she's in critical but stable condition.

He says Aubrey has shown some small signs of improvement, but he says it's possible she could be hospitalized for up to a month yet.

He says  doctors want to keep the unborn baby in the mother for another two weeks  until at least 28 weeks, because the baby's chances of survival would be greater at 28 weeks.

"She's hanging in there, she's strong, she's tough.," he said.

To date, Palm Beach County has had 146 confirmed cases of H1N1.