Shawn Burrough is a great bear of a man who works two jobs so his wife can stay home with their four children.
When he started feeling poorly around the holidays, he shrugged it off, put his head down, and kept right on working.
Now he is hooked to a ventilator, unable to draw a single breath without help, battling severe pnuemonia. His kidneys aren't functioning and he is in a drug-induced coma.
Burrough, 48, is fighting for his life in the Intensive Care Unit of Sharp Grossmont Hospital in San Diego County. Aside from being overweight, his wife said he had no serious health problems. He started getting feeling sick around Christmas.
"He had a little chest congestion, headache, body ache, the usual stuff where you're like, OK, I'm getting the flu," his wife, Jennifer, told KSWB-TV. By New Year's Day, his wife had taken him to a nearby emergency room.
A YouCaring account established to help with living and medical costs posted an ominous-sounding update Thursday. "There is a possibility he won't make it. His small gains are encouraging, but nowhere near what we need them to be yet. We are not even close to being out of the woods. We may not make it out of the woods. Keep praying. We are all in shock."
The fundraising site described the Burroughs as "not just your average family. They have hearts of gold and would take their shirts off their back (sic) without a doubt, to help someone in need.
"We do not know what the future is holding for them right now. Rent is due, groceries, diapers, utilities, gas money, so if we can make this stressful time a little easier for them while Jennifer can be where she is needed at Shawn's side, let's please rally together and help them."
The Burrough family hopes others will learn a lesson from their plight. "If you're sick, I mean, the first cough, I don't care if it's not the flu. Go get seen just in case. You never know," said Jennifer.