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Feb 4, 2010 1:50 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Groom recovers from swine-flu coma

It was the wedding that almost didn't happen.

"I was in a coma for 17 days," said Clint Larson. "It still doesn't seem real to me."

Just before New Year's, he and his fiance Karen Wilkinson both came down with H1N1.

Karen woke up one morning and realized Clint was way worse than she was.

"He just collapsed onto the floor," said Karen. "My son helped me get him into the car and we drove here to St. Clare, carried him into the hospital and right away they started working on him."

Clint's condition was so serious, doctors prepared Karen and their family members for the worst.

Over the next few weeks, he went into cardiac arrest three times.

Doctors at St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood, Washington kept him rotating in a special RotoProne Therapy bed just to get enough oxygen to his body.

"That allowed him to survive and be able to quickly get better," said Jann McCann, the night charge nurse at St. Clare hospital. "He was on it for 12,13 days. He's been in the hospital over a month."

It's a miracle recovery.

Clint should be out of the hospital this weekend in time to make his wedding.

Now 40 pounds lighter, this 47- year-old learned the hard way to appreciate life.

"She is the most fantastic woman that has ever lived," Clint said of his fiance.

"I know how strong he is, I know how stubborn he is," said Karen. "I know how hard he fought for this marriage, so I knew he would come through."

Their advice? Get your flu shot.

Clint and Karen are getting married February 20.

 

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