Publish date: 21 November 2022

A midwife from Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has shared her story of her recent battle with the virus. 

Martyne Drinkall, 44, is a fit and healthy farmer’s wife who works as a midwife at Leighton Hospital in Crewe and never expected to contract the flu virus. 

Martyne began to feel unwell at the beginning of October this year before her health deteriorated and she visited Leighton Hospital’s Emergency Department where it was confirmed that she had tested positive for Influenza. 

She said: “I was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit for a couple of days as I was very poorly. I literally thought I was dying; in fact, I was shouting 'I am dying’.” 

“The care I received was absolutely amazing. I was so scared, but I eventually turned the corner and I am getting stronger each day. I have never had flu before and if I am honest, I never thought it would happen to me.” 

Martyne receives her flu vaccine every year, however, she was due to have her yearly jab at the time she fell ill. The viruses that cause flu can mutate and change every year, so an annual jab is needed to ensure you are protected. 

“Thank goodness I am a strong, healthy woman otherwise this would have been a very different story as flu definitely tried to kill me.  

“After the experience I have gone through, I would encourage everyone to have their vaccine as soon as possible so they are protected this winter. If I could save just one person and their family from going through what I did, I would be very happy.”  

Flu vaccines are safe and effective. They're offered every year to help protect people at risk of flu and its complications. The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to adults who: 

  • are 50 and over (including those who will be 50 by 31 March 2023) 
  • have certain health conditions 
  • are pregnant 
  • are in long-stay residential care 
  • receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick 
  • live with someone who is more likely to get a severe infection due to a weakened immune system, such as someone living with HIV, someone who has had a transplant, or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis 

You can find out more about how to get your flu vaccine by visiting