BETHANY — After lying in a hospital bed for weeks recovering from swine flu, 10-year-old Tony Estlinbaum was ready to try standing without help Friday.
The fifth-grader at Edmond’s Sunset Elementary School started therapy Friday at The Children’s Center in Bethany. Hugh Estlinbaum said although Tony has been through so much in the past five weeks, he still pushed his father’s helping hand away. "He said, ‘Dad I’ve got it.’ I said, ‘I know, son, I’m just holding on for me,’” Estlinbaum said. "The courage and bravery he’s shown surpasses anything I’ve seen.” Tony will have three to four hours of occupational, recreational, respiratory and other therapy per day. He will rebuild the muscles he lost while he was in the hospital, said Tami McMichael, a pediatric nurse practitioner at the center. Tony will stay in The Children’s Center Pediatric Medical Unit, where children who have had severe injuries come to recover. He is the center’s first swine flu, also known as H1N1, recovery patient, McMichael said. "We’re anticipating about seven to 10 days that he’ll need therapy,” McMichael said. Tony was a healthy boy with no history of asthma or other medical conditions, but he had severe complications with his lungs because of H1N1, McMichael said. Ongoing coverage: Swine flu
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