Yesterday, my crew and myself experienced a true Thanksgiving miracle. We saved a baby's life. Even just writing that little sentence still brings tears to my eyes. But yes, yesterday was a day in my career I'll never forget because the outcome could've been so different. We responded to a drowning. The reference of our call was a 14 month old baby found in a pool, unconcious. The update that we got as we were enroute was that Sheriff's deputies were on scene and had begun CPR. We arrived within minutes and though we don't normally run into a home, this time it was different and we ran. I passed by several family members who were outside crying and hugging each other and the whole time I was saying to myself, "Oh God, I don't want to see this today, I really don't want to see this today". But we did. He was lying on the floor as deputies were compressing his little chest. We scooped him up, laid him on the stretcher and hauled out to the Rescue truck. I took over CPR, using the heel of my hand, while our lead medic dropped a tube into his trachea, and the other medic inserted an intraosceous needle into his leg, this so we could administer medications right into the bone marrow. We gave him several drugs, Epinephrine, Atropine and Sodium Bicarbonate. He was asystolic on the monitor, meaning he had absolutely no electrical activity to his heart. He was basically dead. He was cold, really cold and wet and he had a diaper on. We received a police escort to the hospital meaning they close every intersection enroute to the hospital. Halfway to the hospital I stopped CPR to see what was on the monitor and we found a heart beat. We found several actually but not enough to sustain himself, so once again I began compressing his heart with the heal of my hand. When we arrived at the hospital, our lead medic actually "felt" a pulse. The ER was buzzing with Dr's, Respiratory Therapists, Pediatric nurses. They worked on him tirelessly and when they came out and said he has a blood pressure and a pulse, one of the officers turned to me and gave me the biggest, strongest hug I think I've ever had and we both lost it. Actually everyone did that was there on scene. It was amazing. The Dr's had said that since it's been so cold here over the last 2 weeks, his core temperature was 84 degrees and that probably increased his survival chances. Late last night we received notice from the hospital, that the little baby boy had begun breathing on his own, and he was wiggling his little fingers.
If that poor baby died, I couldn't imagine worse news for a family on Thanksgiving and I think that's what made this so memorable, the fact that he's now alive. I'll never forget it. I will never, ever forget it, because it really could've turned out so differently.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday, I know mine was complete when I finished the call and called home to talk to my children and to tell them how much I love them. Life is soooooo fragile and I know that. But even after 15 years with the Fire Department these calls always pull at my heart strings.
If you've read this far, please say a little prayer that that little boy will fully recover. Thankyou!