A boy’s life-saving visit from local firefighters this year may help inspire his older brother to join the service himself one day.
Two-year-old Sebastian was born roughly 15 weeks premature with underdeveloped lungs, his mom Brianna Loran said in an interview. He stayed at Seattle Children’s Hospital for his first 11 months before he could safely come home to the family’s home on the west side of Auburn.
“He basically has been on a ventilator since his first breaths of life, and he will stay on a ventilator for another year or two until his lungs fully heal,” Loran said.
Sebastian needed a tracheostomy to help him breathe. The surgical procedure created a new opening through his neck from which he breathes through a tube.
Before discharging Sebastian, Seattle Children’s alerted local fire departments about his uncommon medical condition and even disseminated a training video for first responders in case he suddenly had a medical emergency.
And just that happened this last January, when Sebastian’s tracheostomy tube came out one night — prompting an urgent 911 call and desperate CPR attempts to keep Sebastian alive.
“The way it came out, it was pretty traumatic to his (airway),” Loran said. “So it was really difficult to get (the tube) back in and for us to reconnect him to his ventilator.”
South King Fire and Rescue’s Medic One responders arrived in five minutes. By that time, Sebastian had already lost consciousness and the family was trying to revive him.
“We didn’t know if he was going to live,” Loran said. “Our baby was purple and lifeless. We were attempting CPR and it just wasn’t working.”
In the midst of those distressing, traumatic moments, hearing his parents crying, Sebastian’s 5-year-old brother Lucas saw a crew of first responders fly into his house and go to work on his brother.
The first responders were successful. Sebastian was revived and taken to Seattle Children’s Hospital. Because he never fully lost a pulse, he suffered no neurological damage, and he has fully recovered from the ordeal.
Since then, Loran has brought Lucas by their local fire station — Station 65 — to meet the firefighters outside of the stressful situations where he’d seen them previously.
Lucas requested a birthday party with fire, police and EMS workers, and that’s what he got — a South King Fire and Rescue fire truck from Station 65 drove by his party Sept. 3, leaving Lucas “beside himself” with joy, his mom said. He and the other kids at his party, including Sebastian, got to play on the truck and meet the first responders.
For a young kid thinking about his future, Lucas could have hardly received a better career pitch.
“He has a firefighter costume, and a police costume,” Loran said. “He plays make-believe all the time that he’s police or fire, and he pretends to save people’s lives. … He understands that when they were here that night, that they were responsible for saving his brother’s life.”