Watts back home after weeks in UAB hospital

Published 12:22 am Wednesday, February 26, 2014

An Andalusia man who has been battling the H1N1 flu for more than six weeks is home and recovering after treatment at University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital.

Shelline Watts said her husband, Teddy, was finally well enough to come home Monday, a trip both have dreaming of since early January.

“We are home!” Watts announced Monday night via Facebook. “Didn’t get here until right before dark, and still aren’t completely settled in. Tomorrow will be a long day setting up home health for speech therapy and to make sure I am doing the tube feeds correctly.”

Following the New Year, the Watts became part of a larger-than-normal group of adults seriously impacted this flu season by the H1N1 strain, which primarily affected young and middle-aged adults.

Shelline Watts said the couple came down with “the crud” nearly simultaneously in early January, but while her condition improved, her husband’s worsened.

After being admitted into a Pensacola, Fla., hospital in late January, Watts was flown via jet to UAB, where he was treated with a heart-lung bypass machine typically used to give the organs a break during heart surgery.

Over the next month, Shelline Watts posted daily updates on her husband’s condition to Facebook, before announcing Monday that he was well enough to come home. In spite of her happiness over being back in Andalusia, she has also stressed that her husband is not yet “out of the woods.”

“We still have a long road ahead to get him back to his ‘old self,’ but we will definitely get there,” she said. “Now to find out if after sleeping in a chair every night for the past six weeks, I can even sleep in my own bed. I still can’t believe we are actually here finally.”