Quenten Thomas had the flu, but at first he wasn’t worried. After all, he was only 27, and otherwise healthy. But his dad Robert told NBC news that after he became short of breath, he started using a finger pulse oximeter to monitor his oxygen levels, and what he saw alarmed him.
“It hurt really bad when he coughed, and he was having trouble catching (his) breath,” the elder Thomas said. “He noticed his oxygen was dropping, so he went to the hospital asking for oxygen first.”
The hospital treated Quenten, a father of three young children from Maryville, Tennessee, and then sent him home to rest and recover. But his oxygen levels did not improve, and soon the young dad was back at the ER. This time, he was admitted, but his symptoms just got worse.
His father describes Quenten’s experience with plain old influenza as “unbelievable.” Quenten, who had not had his flu shot this season, was soon put on a ventilator and into a medically-induced coma.
But it wasn’t enough. On January 6, 2024, Quenten Thomas lost his life to the flu at just twenty-seven years old. His grieving father described his shock that such a healthy, hard-working young man with “no quit in him” could die this way.