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. Estlinbaum said he wants to draw attention to Tony’s case so parents will take the flu seriously, especially if their children have problems breathing along with flu symptoms. He said Tony felt fine Sept. Ongoing coverage: Swine flu
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Fund set up to help family
A fund to help Tony Estlinbaum’s family with medical bills has been set up through Citizens Bank of Edmond. The main branch of the bank is at 32 N Broadway in Edmond.
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Pigs in Minnesota may have tested positive for the H1N1 virus in a preliminary test, the first potential U.S. cases in swine, Agriculture Department officials said Friday. The officials cautioned that further tests were needed to confirm that the pigs had been infected with H1N1, also known as swine flu virus. The pigs did not exhibit signs of sickness and may have been infected by a group of children with the virus and not the other way around, they said. Samples from the pigs that may have tested positive were collected at the Minnesota State Fair between Aug. 26 and Sept. 1. ASSOCIATED PRESS