Doctors confirm Oregon boy, 5, dies from H1N1 virus - KPTV - FOX 12

Doctors confirm Oregon boy, 5, dies from H1N1 virus

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Doctors confirm an Oregon boy, 5, has died from the H1N1 virus. His family says he collapsed on Christmas Day, and died just days later.

Calandra Burgess says all three of her kids got their flu shots this November, so she was surprised when her youngest son, Ronan, got sick.

"He felt really hot, and we checked his temperature, and it said it was 104.7," said Burgess. "He had that barking seal cough you'd associate with croup."

And that's what Burgess says her pediatrician in Eugene thought was wrong, Ronan had a bad case of croup. Only, when he didn't get any better, she rushed him to the local emergency room on Christmas Eve.

"They took an X-ray of his soft tissue, and noticed his airway was a little collapsed.  But they said it was nothing too disconcerting and they sent me home," said Burgess.

Then, in a matter of hours, Burgess says everything changed.

"My son collapsed on the floor, and turned blue. Both my husband and I performed CPR until the ambulance got there," said Burgess.

Ronan was rushed back to the ER, but doctors there determined he needed more specialized care, so he was sent to Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland.

Doctors there tried to save him, but Burgess says her son went without oxygen for too long, and suffered brain damage that was irreversible. He died, days later.

"It's horrible, I miss my son, and it's hard even standing here and being here," said Burgess.

Burgess says she's sharing her story to warn others that the flu shot is not always enough to protect children from the H1N1 virus.

The CDC website shows there are anti-viral medicines that can help treat symptoms of the flu, even after the first 48 hours.

Burgess said she wishes she knew then, what she knows now about the anti-viral medicines, and in the meantime holds on to the memory of her son.

"To me, he's always going to be in my heart, he's always going to be my little man," said Burgess.

"I think it's a good way to keep his memory alive, to get his story out and let it be known that vaccination or not, if your child has a fever and flu like symptoms, they need to be seen by a doctor. That's something my son would agree with I think, to help other people."

For more information about what the CDC recommends about protecting kids from H1N1, visit

If you want to help the Burgess family during this time, there's an account set up at Wells Fargo Bank under the Ronan Burgess donation account.


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