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Parents thank paramedics who saved son's life

The paramedics' quick actions saved the life of the 2-year-old when he choked on his food at a daycare

By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN, Okla. — One of the best days of Melissa and Kelsey Condley's lives could have been the worst day.

Thanks to quick action by emergency responders, their son is alive and well after choking on food at a Norman day care shortly before noon June 14.

Friday, the Condleys reunited with the EMSStat crew to say "thank you" and deliver a large basket of homemade goodies.

Fortunately, everyone from the day care staff to medics with Fire Station No. 4 and EMSStat responders paramedic Cassie Cotter, emergency vehicle operator Devin Anderson and crew chief Travis Terrel did what they needed to do to help their son, Parker, 2, start breathing again.

"The doctors at the hospital said everyone did the right thing," said dad, Kelsey. "Everyone knew what to do and how to respond."

When Parker choked on his food, caregivers at the child care center started CPR and called 9-1-1. Anderson said that was smart thinking. If a child, or anyone, is choking, calling 9-1-1 gets medics on the way, but operators are trained to stay on the phone and talk people through what they need to do until help arrives.

When emergency responders arrived at the day care June 14, Parker had stopped breathing because his airway was blocked. The fire responders assessed the situation, and then Anderson took over and began administering back slaps in an attempt to dislodge the blockage, but the food was lodged too deeply.

Anderson said back pats are used to help small children who are choking. Next, the paramedics put Parker in the ambulance, out of view of the other children, and Anderson used a laryngoscope and Magill forceps to remove two big chunks of food and half a meatball.

"It was a big relief when we got to the hospital and he was crying for his mom," Anderson said.

Not every case turns out so well, the paramedics said.

"Some days are better than others," Terrell said.

"That was definitely a good day," Cotter said.

Parker's parents agree.

"We really wanted to thank the medics because this is a positive outcome of a very scary scenario," said Parker's mother, Melissa. "That night, I slept with him. It was a big scare for us."

Despite the scare, Melissa and Kelsey said the incident reassured them that the people they've trusted with the care of their children, including big sister, Kennedy, 4, are worthy of the trust.

"We were very impressed with their quick response at the day care," Melissa said.

EMSStat, a department of Norman Regional Health System, provides ambulance and emergency medicine services to Moore and Norman.

Copyright 2017 The Norman Transcript

Posted by Norman Regional EMSSTAT on Friday, July 7, 2017


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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