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Father Relives Journey of Almost Losing Son to H1N1 Through Book

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Just nine months ago, Tony Estlinbaum was fighting for his life after catching the H1N1 virus. Just nine months ago, Tony Estlinbaum was fighting for his life after catching the H1N1 virus.
Tony's father, Hugh Estlinbaum wrote 'A Line That Was Drawn' to share his journey as he stayed by his son’s side. Tony's father, Hugh Estlinbaum wrote 'A Line That Was Drawn' to share his journey as he stayed by his son’s side.

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- It's been nine months since an Edmond boy nearly lost his life to the H1N1 virus. Now his dad is releasing a book about their story in hopes of helping other parents.

Hugh Estlinbaum is a truck driver from Edmond and said he never in his life thought he'd write a book, but he did for his son and for others in hopes of saving another life. A Line That Was Drawn follows his journey as he watched his young son, Tony, fight for his life in a battle with H1N1.

Today, Tony Estlinbaum looks like any ordinary boy. He loves video games and hanging out, but the 11-year-old wasn't always rocking to the music. Just last fall, Tony was on life support after the H1N1 virus attacked his body.

"There was one point in time the doctors came up to me and… sorry," said Hugh Estlinbaum while fighting back tears. "It was hard to do it, but it was something I had to do. I had to say goodbye to my buddy, to my son, so I thought at that point in time, I thought, this is it."

Tony was in a drug-induced coma for six weeks. Hugh Estlinbaum said he would've traded places with his little boy to save him. Then there was a miraculous recovery and an answered prayer.

"He did make it through, thank God, and God made His decision and opted to give us more time with Tony, and we cherish the time so much more now," Hugh Estlinbaum said.

Tony is no longer on the sidelines. He starts football next week, and now the father and son are living life in the moment.

"When I see my son when I wake up in the morning, I got a joy. I got a happiness that can't be taken away," Hugh Estlinbaum said.

The Estlinbaums are now facing $1.2 million in medical bills and with all those costs, they could even lose their house. The family said they hope book sales will help with their financial situation.

A Line That Was Drawn is available online at Booklocker, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and BOOKS-A-MILLION.

Hugh Estlinbaum is holding a book signing at Ruth's Christian Bookstore in Quail Springs Mall on August 14 from 2-4p.m.

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