AJ and I managed Johnathan’s symptoms together from the first sign of blood on Wednesday to the fever on day two and three and through four sleepless nights. A cough of blood on Sunday. Even seizure - like activity that we thought was just from the fever, at first.
But when he lost his pulse we knew we needed more help. This crossed the line of things we could manage alone.
We were in need.
When we called 911, they dispatched Fire and EMS. Their response time was less than 5 minutes. It went from a dad and mom performing CPR on their son to a crew of men and women filling our home with equipment, knowledge, and skills to save our boy.
These are the people that show up in our times of need.
They run toward the problem, they bring calm to chaos, and they carry everything you may need. The truest of heroes on this earth.
I watched the EMT lay Johnathan down on our bedroom floor. They continued compressions. Someone turned to me and said they needed to start an IO (Intraosseous) infusion. They started to explain that they would drill into his bone to get access to give him medicine. I knew what they were doing. I gave them permission to do whatever they needed. I just needed them to save Johnathan.
A paramedic laid down on the floor with Johnathan to intubate him. From my view point in the hallway, I could see this mans feet and back as he tried to find the right angle to place a tube in Johnathan’s trachea. After an initial attempt, he needed back up. AJ and I made eye contact with each other for a brief moment. Without speaking, I knew I needed AJ to intubate our son. I knew he wouldn‘t miss. In that same moment, AJ knew he needed to let the paramedics do their job. He was intubated successfully on the second attempt. That is what Johnathan needed.
A police officer named Heather sat with me on the floor in the hallway. She put her arms around my shoulders and talked to Michael to keep him occupied. I called my Dad and cried into the phone “Johnathan is dying”.
I needed prayers.
I needed the comfort from my Dad. I texted my best friends similar cries for help. “Johnathan is dying” “He’s bleeding out” “CPR”. I know it didn’t make any sense. I know it all came out of nowhere, but I knew I needed their support.
In our time of need... we call on the truest of heroes. We call the ones who will comfort and pray. We call the friends that will drive 5 hours to be by our side.
To all of the Police, Fire, and EMS,
Thank you for coming in our time of need.
Our type of call, a pediatric code, can be hard to “move on from” or “forget” as you continue on with your shift that day, that week, and sometimes for years after. They can be hard to cope with and can haunt you. I’d encourage anyone feeling the weight of any call to click the link below.