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H1N1 Child's Miraculous Recovery

A Florida girl, diagnosed with H1N1, will get a special gift for her ninth birthday.

She'll be able to celebrate it at home with her family.

Cameron Pirozzi nearly died this summer from the swine flu.

CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton shared Cameron's miraculous journey to recovery with Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez on Friday.

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Cameron, a third-grader from Palm Beach Gardens, left the hospital for the first time since June.

For most of the summer, Cameron was being kept alive by a respirator after finally being diagnosed with the H1N1 flu.

"One day, I woke up and didn't feel good. I had a cough," Cameron said.

Her parents suspected H1N1 and took her to the doctor. But tests came back negative for flu, twice.

Things quickly got worse after Cameron's fever spiked to 105 degrees.

"We took her to the emergency room," said Cameron's mother, Kelly Pirozzi.

A lung collapsed. Her condition was declining, so much so that doctors considered putting her on a machine to keep her heart and lungs working.

"It's your worst nightmare," Kelly said. "When doctors tell you they're putting your child on a ventilator, when they tell you that they want to put her on a bypass machine, when they start talking about the risks of that. You can't do anything."

Being fed through a tube, heavily sedated and in a medically-induced coma, Cameron's prognosis was not good.

"Nobody expected her to walk out of here," said Dr. Konstantinos Boukas, a pediatric critical care intensivist at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

But Cameron never gave up, and neither did her parents.

"I wasn't naive that she was sick, but I never, for one minute, did not believe that she would fully recover," said an emotional Kelly.

Doctors expect her to do just that, calling it nothing short of a miracle.

Cameron's parents credit her feisty spirit for her recovery. Thoughts of a cheese pizza at her favorite restaurant and the promise of an iPhone helped, too.

"Because if you don't believe in yourself, then you're never going to get better," Cameron said.

The Pirozzis hope their daughter's story will be a warning to other parents to be vigilant. Take your child to the doctor, they say, at any sign of the flu - before it's too late.

"Don't think it can't happen to your family," Kelly said.

Ashton added that rapid flu tests are not 100 percent accurate and that parents really need to rely on their judgment.

Cameron, for example, had asthma and was at high risk.

"Very few of these are 100 percent accurate from 40 to the low 80 percentile range," Ashton said.

If the symptoms don't improve, then you should go back for another test.

"You need to be aggressive in following those symptoms," Ashton said.

For more information on H1N1 or to ask questions, visit
Dr. Jennifer Ashton's Twitter page
or read a SPECIAL REPORT: H1N1.

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