My baby stopped breathing
Tyler Lund
82

Your story hit home for me. Our twins were born at 30 weeks. After 8 weeks, one of my boys, Colin, was sent home while Martin stayed in NICU. We didn’t want Colin to come home because he kept having bradycardia episodes in NICU.

Two weeks later, I was at home napping with Colin. I woke for some reason, and looked at him sleeping in his rocker across from me. “Colin,” I said. He didn’t respond, so I figured he was asleep. Just before I closed my eyes, something caught my eye: he didn’t look right. I said his name again, louder, with no response.

I picked him up and he was limp. I ran him over to the changing pad and did what we learned in our infant CPR classes: I checked for breathing—zip. I checked for a heartbeat—zip. It was at this point I noticed his lips turning blue, his face becoming mottled.

I started CPR, round one, round two. I ran to the phone, dialed 911. I yelled our address, apartment number, and that my son wasn’t breathing. The operator wanted to ask me more questions, but I told her I had to continue CPR. I gave him five more rounds when, suddenly, he let out a small cry, then a louder one. I could hear the operator on the phone laughing with joy.

I was so happy—I picked him up in my arms, thinking everything was fine. Then I heard “2G! 2G! 2G!” in the hallway outside our apartment. It clicked: EMS was looking for our apartment. I ran to the door, Colin still in my arms There was a large group of EMS personnel—they grabbed Colin from me and laid him on the couch. I said, “He’s fine! He’s breathing now!”

While they were checking him, he stopped breathing again so they started CPR once more. I felt like the entire room was spinning. One of the EMS guys saw me and ran over and propped me up. “It’s going to be okay, Dad. You did good.”

Little guy scared the hell out of me.

We went by ambulance to the pediatric ER. Colin had two more episodes on the way, but by the time we were at the hospital, he seemed fine. We spent the weekend there. The doctors assured us everything was okay. They didn’t know what had happened, but their guess was gerd. I still think it was a violent bradycardia episode.

In any event, this began our long journey of health and developmental issues—rare pediatric lung disease, autism, the works. It’s only now, seven plus years later, that I feel life settling into something of a groove. But when I reflect back on that time, I get a shudder down my spine.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Michael McWatters’s story.