In support of Pneumonia Awareness Week, patients are joining forces with doctors nation-wide to heighten community awareness of pneumococcal pneumonia, an often fatal lung infection.

Team VIVA! has taken some time out to hear their stories:

Single mother, Melody, 38, from Melbourne, recently contracted pneumonia from her eight-year-old daughter.

“I’m young, fit and healthy with no underlying medical conditions, so I never considered myself to be a candidate for pneumonia, and I had no idea of its severity.”

In March 2012, Melody’s daughter, Rowdy, was diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia after presenting to her doctor with a thick, phlegm-like cough and fever. After undergoing a chest X-ray, Rowdy was prescribed medication, fluids and lots of rest. To monitor her wellbeing over night, Rowdy slept next to her mother.

Following Rowdy’s recovery, Melody returned to her normal routine, soon after which she collapsed, marking the start of her personal fight against bacterial pneumonia.

“I was freezing cold and aching all over. My temperature was fluctuating between 39 and 41 degrees Celsius for five days straight. It’s the worst I’ve ever physically felt,” Melody said.

“I was admitted to hospital for a series of intravenous antibiotics after a chest X-ray revealed a bacterial pneumonia infection.

“Since the ordeal, I’ve been running on 70 per cent energy and have a minimum six-to-12 month road to full recovery,” said Melody.

Impending retiree, Robert, 61, from Wollongong, New South Wales, urges his fellow Australians to protect against pneumonia this Pneumonia Awareness Week, having struggled with pneumonia during his early years of parenthood.

At the time of infection, Robert was working in an office with a resident GP, who encouraged him to see his local doctor after a “niggling cough that wouldn’t subside despite self-medication.”

Robert was initially hesitant to visit a doctor, admitting the “pride-factor got in the way” – a trait he cites as characteristic of Australian men!

“Once I made an appointment with my local doctor, I was sent for an X-Ray, and subsequently diagnosed with pneumonia. My health continued to deteriorate,” said Robert.

“I now understand the seriousness of pneumonia, and am a lot more proactive in looking after my personal health. These days I visit the doctor as soon as I start to feel unwell.”

Discuss the seriousness of pneumococcal pneumonia online! #protectyourlungs