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Retired NYPD Officer Hailed a Hero After Saving Girl While Vacationing in Aruba

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My dad used to tell me a story about a man who got stung in the throat by a bee. Yes, you read that correctly: He actually got stung inside his throat.

See, the aggressive little insect had fallen inside this man’s cup of soda on a hot summer day. When he took a sip, it stung him.

Fortunately, a doctor was on site and monitored him to make sure that his airway didn’t close. But my dad always said, “What if that doctor hadn’t been there?”

It’s a sobering thought, and I’m sure that one Puerto Rican family is thinking much the same thing after a retired NYPD officer saved them from heartache. Sean Whelan was vacationing with his family in Aruba on August 15.



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A longtime lover of sand and sun, Whelan also enjoyed going for bike rides. But on that day, he witnessed something horrible.

Whelan’s bike ride was interrupted when, according to WVIT, he saw a terrible accident. A car crashed into an off-road vehicle.

Sadly, the person worst hurt was 7-year-old Jednniely Perez Rivas. In fact, she lost a foot in the accident.

But the worst part of it was that she didn’t have a pulse when Whelan found her. The former NYPD officer had run up to the vehicles and started shouting, asking if anyone was hurt.

When he discovered Rivas, he began to administer CPR. Telemundo Puerto Rico Canal 2 reported that he did so for 15 minutes.

However, she didn’t respond. So Whelan began to vigorously pump her chest where her heart was located.



That did the trick, and Rivas was stabilized. However, one issue remained: How could the family get her the health care she needed for long-term survival?

Once again, Whelan stepped in. He said that no one should die on account of not having enough money and offered to pay $15,000 for her to be airlifted to Puerto Rico.

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When time came for her to be wheeled on to an air ambulance, he even accompanied her on board. The girl’s grandfather said that Whelan was “an angel.”

“I’m grateful towards him,” he said. “There are no words to thank him.”

The Puerto Rican Secretary of Health, Rafael Rodríguez Mercado, said that Rivas was in stable condition. Doctors had placed her in a medically induced coma to speed her healing, and there was no sign of brain damage.

No doubt the little 7-year-old has a long road ahead of her. But if not for the miraculous arrival of one former police officer, it could’ve been so much worse.

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Education
Wheaton College
Location
Florida
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith, Travel




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