These were Nancy Pinnella’s last days: On Jan. 21, she felt sick, leaving work early. On Jan. 22, she went to a doctor, hardly able to speak or breathe. By 6 p.m. that day, she was in intensive care at Sutter General Hospital in Sacramento. Her kidneys were failing, her lung capacity severely reduced. Doctors sedated her, induced paralysis and put her on a ventilator and dialysis. Then, as quick as that night, doctors told her family she was in very, very bad shape.
The H1N1 influenza was winning the battle.
On Friday, a bright spot: her kidneys and vital signs got better. Then, between midnight and 6 a.m. Saturday, Pinnella suffered three severe strokes in three different parts of her brain. On Sunday, the family said goodbye and took the 46-year-old advertising executive at KXTV News10 off life support.