Gilly recovers from deadly flu infection
SHANE Gill has always been an active man.
As a rugby league player of some repute before taking the reins of the Gympie Turf Club, 'Gilly' has never shied away from a challenge.
So when he went from running his carpentry business to narrowly surviving open heart surgery after a flu-induced staph infection attacked his aortic valve, he was forced to re-evaluate the important things in life.
"There are some things that won't be as important as what they have been," Mr Gill said.
"Life is valuable. It was touch and go for me there for a while but I am one of the lucky ones who lived."
The 2017 flu season reeked havoc on the Gympie region.
Up until August 28, there had been 2277 cases of Influenza A reported to Queensland health.
On the back of his near death experience, Mr Gill said he would definitely receive the flu shot next year for "peace of mind."
"I don't know if it (flu shot) would have made a difference."
Mr Gill said his ordeal has affected him in ways he was not prepared for.
Currently, he is unable to drive or work.
Simple tasks like lifting ordinarily light household items is painful.
He sought advice from a doctor twice before eventually being diagnosed and it only took a week before he was in intensive care.
"My recovery is going as well as expected but mentally I am still in disbelief," he said.
"I believe I am dealing with it well.
"It happened and I just have to move on.
"You could sit here and dwell on it but you won't move forward."
Part of Mr Gill's recovery is the implementation of subtle lifestyle changes.
"There will be no more sitting down to a six pack of beer after a good day at work," he said.
Exercise is also mandated as is closer supervision of his diet.
"In myself, I am mentally and physically on top of the world, there are just limitations to what I can do," Mr Gill said.
"I am still living life but (if I had not done anything about my health) for another 24 hours it would not have been the same outcome.
"It was touch and go as to what my next adventure was going to be.
"I just want to thank everyone for their support."