|Baby meets his 911 lifesaver|
|Thursday, 26 April 2012 08:46|
When Antonio Santus called Provo’s 911 Centre back in February, he was a devastated man.
He was convinced he had just watched his one-month-old baby son die in front of him and was requesting the body be removed to the morgue.
Little Hareph had suddenly stopped breathing and was showing no signs of life whatsoever.
In Antonio’s mind, only a miracle could now save his child’s life, and it came in the shape of Nerissa Fortune, who answered the call.
The 911 supervisor immediately calmed the distraught father and set about giving clear and precise instructions as to how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in an attempt to revive the child.
After a few agonizing minutes, the youngster started breathing again, by which time paramedics had arrived on the scene.
“It was very hard to hear to begin with because, understandably, both dad and mum were very emotional,” Nerissa explained. “But once I was able to calm Antonio down, I was able to pass on the basic instructions.
“This involved telling him how to do CPR which is a very specialist procedure on such a young child. At the same time we made an emergency call for an ambulance and I just kept talking to Antonio and telling him as to what to do.
“Thankfully, Hareph began to breathe again, which was obviously a wonderful moment for us all. I just kept talking and reassuring Antonio until the ambulance arrived and then the paramedics took over.”
Two months later, Hareph is now a happy, fit and healthy baby boy who shows no ill effects from his dramatic ordeal.
And there were tears of joy when dad, mother Angeline Petigny, Hareph and his twin brother Harephson, went to meet and thank Nerissa at the 911 Centre in William’s Plaza.
“We are so happy to meet Nerissa and thank her for what she did,” Antonio said. “Because of her and the grace of God, our little boy is alive today.
“When I made that call it was to ask for Hareph to be taken to the morgue. In my mind he had passed away. But Narrisa used all her amazing skills and training to help save his life, and she will always have a very special place in our hearts and in Hareph’s life.
“Thank you so much to Narissa and all the 911 staff. They do an incredible job, and I just don’t have the words to express how grateful we are.”
“Of course it feels good to know that I helped save a little baby’s life, and Hareph will always be special to me,” she said.
“But it’s what I and my colleagues are trained to do, and I was simply doing my job. Antonio also did an incredible job too and he deserves much of the credit.
“The 911 centre provides a wonderful service, and I’m sure the outcome would have been the same whoever happened to answer the call that day.
“It’s just heart-warming that this incident had such a happy ending and it was a real honour and a pleasure to meet the family and I thank them for taking the trouble to come and say hello. It means a great deal to me and all of us at the centre.”
Meanwhile Hareph’s sudden lose of breathing remains a mystery with doctors unable to determine exactly what happened.
“No one is really sure what it was and why it happened,” said mother Angeline. “All we know is that our precious son is fine now, and we thank Narissa for that.”
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