Gorenstein said his son, who has mild asthma, was on a mechanical ventilator less than 24 hours after the first symptoms appeared. When that failed to help him, the hospital had to scramble to get another ventilator that could do what is known as high-frequency oscillatory ventilation.
The hospital succeeded, and his son recovered after he spent a week on the "oscillator" as Gorenstein called it.
"We weren't sure if he would make it until ...until Nov. 22," said Gorenstein.
Gorenstein said his son had just received the first of two doses of the H1N1 vaccine and didn't have enough time to build immunity. He has made a full recovery, and Gorenstein decided to start a charity called Children's Positive Outcome to buy hospitals the oscillating ventilators.
"There's a segment of the population where that's probably OK not to get it [the H1N1 vaccine]. You're relatively healthy, nonpregnant, and nonasthmatic. But for someone who's at risk ... not so much," said Gorenstein.
"If something's benign in 99 percent of the cases and you're the one who dies from it you don't care that you're the 1 percent," he said.