2-year-old saved from choking reunites with flight paramedics

HALO-Flight paramedics dislodged a marble from the boy’s throat on Christmas Day

By Laura French

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A group of Texas flight paramedics who responded to help a toddler choking on a marble on Christmas Day reunited with the boy and his family on Monday.

The HALO-Flight crew visited 2-year-old Roque Gallegos at his home and said they were glad to see him thriving after the prolonged choking incident, according to KIII-TV.

“It’s just a blessing to see him as active as he is without any type of deficit,” said Paramedic Derrek Bockholt. “That’s the best Christmas present ever.”

The toddler’s mother, Mary Jo Gallegos, said when her son first started choking, her husband tried to pull the marble out and inadvertently pushed it down further, prompting them to call 911. The paramedics who initially arrived at the scene were also unable to dislodge the marble, and HALO-Flight was dispatched.

Roque “was limp, struggling, changing color up until the point to where his eyes were starting to roll back,” said Bockholt.

The flight paramedics administered a sedative to relax the child’s muscles completely, enabling them to remove the marble more easily. An endotracheal tube was used to keep Roque breathing during the procedure.

The HALO-Flight crew managed to remove the marble and Roque avoided permanent injury. He will celebrate his 3rd birthday on Jan. 26.


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