Family: Granite Bay woman with H1N1 flu virus improving

GRANITE BAY, Calif. - Just a week ago, friends and family of 61-year-old Lesley Bunning of Granite Bay were terrified. They said Bunning was clinging to life and battling the H1N1 strain of the flu. They were worried about losing her and having to make life or death decisions. But now, her family says Bunning appears to be on the road to recovery.

Daughters Tamra Alsberg and Allison Perrins are certain their mother is getting better.

"Last week, we weren't sure if we were going to have her with us much longer," Perrins said.

So far, the flu has claimed the lives of 26 people in Sacramento and more than 200 people across California.

Like many others, Bunning did not get a flu shot.

On January 6, Bunning was taken to Kaiser Roseville's emergency room. Days later, she was put on a ventilator- life support. Doctors put Bunning into a drug-induced coma.

There were concern that Bunning might have had brain damage, but family members said that's no longer the case, since Bunning switched ventilators.

"We switched her over two nights ago," Perrins detailed.

They say she started becoming more responsive.

"She's able to wiggle her toes. She answers questions by blinking her eyes," Perrins said. "And we can tell she's not paralyzed through her body. We can tell she's not brain dead."

They don't really have an explanation for the improvement they've seen.

The family says there has been an outpouring of community support. Loved ones are grateful for all the prayers and the encouragement.

"We're just so thankful for all the prayers and support. Strangers at coffeeshop are coming up to us," Alsberg said.

Alsberg and Perrins extended their support to others going through the same frightening ordeal.

"Some people are now beginning this journey and I see them as lost as we are, were. Even reaching out to them. It's horrifying," Alsberg revealed.

They say Bunning still needs lots of prayers.

"She is getting better. But now, we still have a long way to go," said Perrins.

RELATED: Family prepares to take mother off life support after H1N1


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