A police officer with the Tacoma, Washington, police department saved the life of a 2-year-old child on Thursday.
The boy was playing at the Oakland Madrona Playfield about 1 p.m. when he swallowed something and began behaving strangely, according to reporting from KCPQ-TV.
Noticing that something was wrong, the boy’s parents put him in their vehicle and drove towards Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, notifying 911 on the way, KCPQ reported.
First responders, including police officers and medics, met the desperate family on the way.
“She handed me her child, and he was unresponsive and limp in my arms. He was blue in the face,” Officer Masyih Ford said, according to KCPQ.
“I immediately knew something was wrong, so I put him on the ground in recovery position and I started CPR. Then I asked the mom, ‘what did he take? Is he choking on something?’ Because I checked his airway, and it was clear.”
The boy’s mother soon handed over what the child had swallowed — what appeared to be a synthetic Percocet or fentanyl pill appeared to be bitten in half.
“I immediately knew that the kid was suffering from a fentanyl overdose,” Ford said, according to KCPQ.
Yesterday Ofcr Ford responded to a child having a medical emergency. Ford arrived & began CPR. He learned the child found a pill at a park & ingested it. Seeing it was fentanyl, told TFD, & Narcan was given. Child is stable. Chief Moore met with Ford, to thank him for his actions pic.twitter.com/jBquZW9gUh
— Tacoma Police Department (@TacomaPD) August 5, 2022
Firefighters who later arrived at the scene provided the boy NARCAN — a treatment for narcotic overdose used for emergency situations.
“The color starting to come back to this kid, the Narcan basically looked like magic to see that condition improve,” Ford said. “I saw him literally blue and lifeless all the way until he was watching cartoons.”
“For me, it was nice to have the closure that he was going to be OK,” the cop said.
“The mom had the wits about her to collect what he had, handed it over to the officer, and the officer immediately identified it as fentanyl or fentanyl-laced,” Tacoma police spokeswoman Shelbie Boyd said, according to The News Tribune of Tacoma.
“I truly believe that he saved this kid’s life,” Boyd added.
The boy was later admitted to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. Boyd told the News Tribune that she’d been told he was in stable condition.
“Metro Parks is really devastated at this whole incident,” Metro Parks Tacoma spokeswoman Rosemary Ponnekanti said, according to the News Tribune. “It’s very distressing, and it must have been very distressing for the parents.”
Ponnekanti said that park workers scoured the park’s perimeter for any dangerous substances.
“We’ll definitely throw everybody’s best efforts at keeping our parks as clean as we can going forward,” she said, according to the News Tribune.
“Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid typically used to treat patients with chronic severe pain or severe pain following surgery,” according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. While it has medical purposes, the drug has also been abused and illegally produced.
“Two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal depending on a person’s body size, tolerance and past usage,” the DEA website states.
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