For new dads, Father’s Day is supposed to be a day spent celebrating their new roles as the person their child can always count on for the rest of their life.
However, for a young father in Upstate New York, this past Father’s Day in 2018 was nearly the day that he almost left his baby’s life for good. Thankfully, 3 kind strangers made sure that didn’t happen…
Father’s Day Errands
On Sunday, June 17, 2018, 2 friends from Upstate New York went out to run some errands around Cicero, New York before celebrating Father’s Day with their families. According to the men, who are also coworkers, they were trying to buy car parts for a project they had started.
The Stopped Vehicle
While heading to the store at around 1 in the afternoon, however, the men were driving on Northern Boulevard and spotted what looked like a car stopped in 1 of the lanes. When they spotted another car stopped behind it, they thought there had been an accident…
Offering Their Help
According to the friends, there was a woman standing near the second car waving her hands as if she needed help so the pair decided to pull over and see if something was wrong and if there was anything they could do to help.
When they pulled over and got out of the car, the woman who had been waving her hands ran over to them and begged for help. At that moment, 2 passengers in the car had gotten out and it became clear the situation was worse than they expected…
After pulling over, Stu Cavuto, a retired deputy Syracuse fire chief, and Jason Wheeler watched as a man climbed out of the car and frantically put his hands on his head. Then they heard the woman still inside the car screaming that their friend in the passenger seat wasn’t breathing.
A Bad Sign
Stu, who now works as a director of safety at Hayner Hoyt Corp., ran over to the car with Jason, a project supervisor at the same company, and saw that the man in the passenger seat was slumped over and had stopped breathing…
The 911 Call
Stu immediately pushed the man in his 20s into an upright position to open up his airways while the woman who flagged them over, Melanie, called 911 to report what she had found and calmly told Stu and Jason the dispatcher’s instruction.
The Root Of The Problem
“She’s a rock star in all of this,” Stu said. While Melanie was still on the phone, Stu and Jason tried to figure out how the young man had suddenly stopped breathing. While Stu wasn’t a firefighter anymore, he had an idea of what the cause might be…
Signs Of An Overdose
According to Stu, it looked like the man might have overdosed on drugs, so he asked the man and women if their friend had taken anything. At first, the pair repeatedly insisted that their friend hadn’t taken any drugs but eventually gave in.
The Truth Comes Out
Seeing that their friend didn’t have much time left, the 2 passengers eventually admitted that he had taken heroin and had overdosed. Normally, they would have given him naloxone, a drug that can be used to reverse a drug overdose, but they had run out…
Taking Control Of The Situation
While Jason worked to calm the pair down, Stu jumped to action and found the man’s weak pulse and told the friend to help him breathe. Stu hoped the victim would hold on like this until paramedics arrived with tools and oxygen, but then the situation took a turn for the worse.
A Baby At Home
The man’s heart had stopped. “You’ve got a baby boy at home,” the friend shouted at the unconscious young dad. Stu knew they would have to start CPR if the man was going to survive and instructed everyone to help him carry the man out of the car and onto the grass nearby…
While moving the man’s body, however, a miracle happened. “It was kind of amazing,” Stu said after watching the unconscious man suddenly wake up and take a breath. “He went from no pulse, no respiration to he sat up as we were trying to move him.”
Time Is Running Out
Within seconds, however, the man was unconscious again and had stopped breathing. Stu knew that the man needed more than just CPR if he was going to survive, and thankfully, help had finally arrived before it was too late…
As the man’s skin started turning a worrying shade of gray, paramedics arrived just in time. The first responders immediately pulled him on a stretcher and loaded him into the ambulance where they could work on reviving him and administering anti-overdose drugs as they rushed him to the hospital.
Out Of Their Hands
Once the man was in good hands, Stu and Jason went on with their day. They didn’t know what would happen to the man and if he would survive, but felt good that they did everything in their power to keep him alive until paramedics arrived…
Father’s Day Celebrations
After leaving the scene, Stu, who is dating Jason’s mother-in-law, left with Jason to finish up their errands and headed off together to a barbeque and pool party with their family that afternoon in celebration of Father’s Day.
An Open Letter
Because of the celebrations, Jason practically forgot about what he had witnessed and done earlier that afternoon. However, once Jason got home that night, the gravity of what he and Stu had done started to sink in. Jason felt compelled to share what happened that afternoon and turned to Facebook to write a letter, which he addressed to ‘the man who I saw take what would have been your last breath…’
A Grateful Brother
“I hope you live. I hope you’re able to change your habits,” Jason said. “I hope you’re able to raise your baby and spend many Father’s Days with him. I hope it scared him. I really do. I hope it scared him to the point where he doesn’t do it again.” Soon after, the brother of the young father who had overdosed saw the post being shared on Facebook and reached out to Jason to thank him. “I don’t know how to ever repay you,” he said.
Hoping For The Best
After that, the man’s parents and other family members reached out to Jason to thank him and Stu for what they did for their loved one. Both Jason and Stu explained they never wanted praise. All they want is for the man to get help. “There’s hope,” Stu said. “I hope he realizes that there are people who care, even strangers. Nobody wants to see somebody die.”
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