Miami Man Contracts Guillain-Barré Syndrome, Nearly Dies After Getting Flu Shot
Three months ago, Michael Stec could bench-press 275 pounds. Now the 56-year-old struggles to walk, gripping tightly to the parallel bars at Mercy Hospital, his legs buckling underneath him like broken stilts.
Stec, who asked to go by his wife's maiden name because he works for a government agency that hasn't authorized him to speak, was diagnosed with a rare neurological disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) November 11 -- eight days after receiving the flu shot.
Stec's diaphragm shut down an hour after he was rushed to Mercy. Doctors cut a hole in his throat and put him on a breathing machine. Then his nervous system went haywire. Several times Isabelle thought he would die.
"They say the chances are one in a million," Stec says. "I think there are more and they are hiding the statistics."
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