HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A Huntsville woman who nearly died from the flu is sharing her story. She spent days on life support in a medically induced coma and survived.
Tiffany Draper has been through a lot over the past several months. It all started at the end of 2018.
She went out of town for Thanksgiving and when she was boarding her flight to return to Huntsville, she started feeling sick.
“I could barely hold my head up,” she said. “By the time I got back to Huntsville, my body ached. I got in bed. I was cold, had aches, the whole nine yards.”
She went to the doctor and they prescribed her something. She returned to work but by the weekend, her symptoms returned and she went back to the doctor.
On December 5th, she went to the emergency room where she received a breathing treatment.
"I couldn't breathe and I couldn't understand what was causing it. I don't have asthma," Draper stated.
On December 13th, she was back in the same situation and returned to the emergency room. They sent her home after x-rays and blood work with medications.
The next day, she was driving down University Drive and she experienced a medical emergency with her son in her car. She managed to pull over and call 911.
"I had just enough breathe to tell them to come and get me," she said.
At the hospital, she continued to experience the same symptoms. She was admitted and told she needed to be put on life support.
"The doctor came in and told me that I needed to call my next of kin. I couldn't believe it. I was on life support for three days," Draper explained.
She did get a flu shot, but still got the flu and it developed into pneumonia. She suffered a collapsed lung. She also had strep throat.
"I had a tear in my esophagus so air wasn't going down into my lungs," she added.
Her road to recovery has been a long one and she is still seeing doctors for help getting back to 100%. She was out of work for months as she recuperated. Draper has a business called Tea with Tiffany which helps motivate, inspire and encourage women in North Alabama. She decided to discuss about her health scare in a book she wrote, titled “But, She Didn’t Quit Though.”
“When I got out of the hospital and realized what I had been through, I realized that my book is a testament to what we go through on a daily basis,” she said. “I believe God gave me a purpose to share my story with everyone in the Tennessee Valley.”
It's a journey she's glad she here to talk about.
"I want to let everyone know that if something is wrong with you, don't take no for answer. You know your body and when something doesn't feel right," Draper said. "It's really just paying attention to your body and knowing what's going on with you."
She is having a book signing Sunday, March 17th, at the Huntsville Country Club. It is open to the public.
“I want to encourage other women to take care of themselves,” she added.