'It was incredible': 4-year-old boy gets to meet firefighters who helped save him
PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (KOMO) -- A 4-year-old boy who was saved by his mother's and firefighters' CPR efforts got to meet the first responders who were there to help.
"It was incredible," said mom Stephanie Lentell. "I underestimated the emotional impact facing these firefighters would have, but to be able to personally thank them and have them meet Michael was amazing."
Michael fell unconscious at this home in November.
Lentell's husband, Brion, was making coffee in the downstairs of their Port Orchard home when Michael, ran upstairs. Brion didn't hear his son's footsteps above him so he knew immediately something didn't seem right. When Brion went to check on his son, he found the child at the top of the stairs. He was on the floor and not breathing.
"Tried to wake him up, rouse him, not responding," said Brion Lentell.
Brion called 911 as Stephanie started CPR on their son and kept it up until medics arrived.
"The most terrifying thing I've ever done was CPR on my 4-year-old," said Stephanie Lentell. Doctors later determined that Michael has Long QT Syndrome, a heart rhythm disorder that can cause fast, chaotic heartbeats.
Michael has since returned to preschool, and Tuesday, he got to make a visit to the South Kitsap Fire & Rescue station where the firefighters with Engine 31 responded to their call for help.
"They were all SO excited to meet him," Stephanie said. "And (Michael) did tell them what he told us he wanted to say: 'Thank you for saving me!' "
She said Assistant Chief Jeff Faucett made Michael an honorary firefighter and told him Engine 31 would be his truck.
"We came home and walked around the house with his picture (with the firefighters) looking for the perfect spot," Stephanie said.
She said it was important to their family to meet those who helped save their son's life as firefighters rarely get to see what happens after recovery.
"They met him on the worst day of his life. They met us on the worst day of our life," Stephanie said. "I think that they need to be able to see the smile that they helped bring back and make sure it stayed in our life and gets to be a 4-year-old and gets to grow up."
Meanwhile, Stephanie and Brion, who were both trained in CPR from their time in the military, are set to do their re-certification in early February.
"Our family was given a miracle because not only did he survive this, but he has survived this and he is still our little boy," Stephanie said.