'He's not coming back': 911 call released in boy's flu death
A complicated 911 call involving a translator, third-party caller and multiple dispatchers captured the futile efforts to revive a 12-year-old boy
By Olivia Hitchcock
The Palm Beach Post
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A complicated 911 call involving a translator, third-party caller and multiple dispatchers captured the futile efforts to revive a 12-year-old boy who likely died of the flu last month in his father’s West Palm Beach-area home.
The recently released 911 call begins with a woman asking for a Spanish translator.
“She said there’s a little boy who lost consciousness and he appears to be dead,” a translator told the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher.
Most of the 11-minute-long call sounds like a game of telephone — first, a Fire Rescue dispatcher instructed someone to perform CPR on Dylan Winnik. But the message had to be translated, then passed from the 911 caller to the person actually with the boy at the Sunset Lane home. The caller’s phone signaled she was in Wellington.
“He’s not coming back. He’s not resuscitating,” the translator said.
“I need her to do the compressions. We’re going to try to bring him back, OK?” the paramedic responded.
The caller communicated that the boy’s nose was bleeding. He wasn’t breathing.
At 12:31 p.m. rescue crews confirmed what the caller feared. The boy was dead.
Preliminary findings suggest Dylan died of Influenza B, the Medical Examiner’s Office announced this weekend.
The flu has taken an early toll. Statewide, more than 4,000 people have died either from pneumonia or influenza this flu season. Across the country, at least 37 children have died from the flu this season.
Dylan came down with flu-like symptoms about 48 hours before he died on Jan. 23, his family said. The boy’s father told The Post that Dylan had a 102-degree fever the night before he died that dropped to 98 degrees after Dylan took fever-reducing medication. He had not gotten a flu shot, the family said.
Dylan seemed OK the next morning and ate waffles for breakfast, Sergio Winnik recalled. But the boy decided to stay behind and watch TV while the elder Winnik headed out to become a U.S. citizen at a naturalization ceremony on the South Florida Fairgrounds. Dylan told his father he loved him.
About an hour later, Winnik called Dylan, but the boy didn’t pick up. Winnik asked a neighbor to check on the boy. The neighbor found the boy unconscious in the bathroom, Winnik said.
Family and friends gathered Saturday to celebrate the seventh-grader’s short life. A few days after his sudden death, Dylan’s Okeeheelee Middle School classmates wore orange — his favorite color.
“This is a tragedy that no parent can imagine,” said Juanita, a 28-year-old mother who lives a few homes away from the one Dylan shared with his father.
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