Classified as an epidemic the flu has already taken several lives this year and our next story is an eye opener for the complications that may accompany the flu.

* if you're squeamish please beware this next story has graphic images*

Joei Smith got the flu in December and has been battling life-threatening flu conditions for more than a month.

Smith's hands and feet are now black blue and bandaged after doctors treated him in the intensive care unit for the flu pneumonia sepsis and kidney failure.

They also gave him medicine to control his blood pressure.

He said he is not sure how he caught the flu but the signs and symptoms had him concerned.

So he called a friend to take him to a nearby urgent care center.

His condition was rapidly deteriorating so he was rushed to an emergency room.

Smith says: "I'm just so fortunate, that I'm able to share my story but at the same time, my heart hurts for those that didn't make it."

Doctors will amputate Smith's fingers soon and his toes may be amputated sometime later.