RSV, also known as respiratory syncytial virus, has been sweeping the nation for several weeks now as parents across the country take extra precautions against the virus. One family in Kansas City was faced with quite the scare when their one-month-old child, Kamiya, stopped breathing – they didn’t know why.
Two Kansas City police officers – Richard DuChaine and Charles Owen – were the first to arrive at the scene and immediately began doing chest compressions and back thrusts in an attempt to get the infant breathing again. The officers weren’t having any luck, but they weren’t about to give up on the child.
It only took the officers less than one minute before the baby started breathing again. They immediately checked to make sure the mouth wasn’t obstructed, which it wasn’t – a positive sign. The dramatic, intense, and frightening series of events was caught on one of the officer’s body-worn cameras.
“We always had that fear in the back of our head that, you know, is what we’re doing enough? Is it going to be enough to bring her back? Obviously, once we are able to bring her back, that was a huge sigh of relief,” said Officer Richard DuChaine, adding it was ‘definitely a scary moment’ for everyone involved.
The parents of the baby rushed to the hospital, where they learned their daughter was diagnosed with RSV – hence why the baby stopped breathing. “You hear about RSV, but when you actually see it in person, it’s very scary,” said Officer Charles Owen, adding the baby was ‘so small, she looked like a doll.’
Kamiya’s mother, Tajanea Allen, praised the work of the police officers, calling them heroes for their swift response and ensuing actions. “He’s a hero like he’s my hero. He’s my daughter’s hero. He’s a hero, like I would do anything for the man. The man is a hero, he saved my daughter,” she said in an interview.
Despite being praised as heroes, the police officers remained humble. “We don’t feel like heroes. We just feel like we did something good,” said Officer Owens. “We don’t do this job to be called heroes. We do this job to preserve life and just overall, just protecting the people of the city,” echoed Officer DuChaine.
RSV Cases Continue to Surge, Earlier Than Expected
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) isn’t a new virus – in fact, the virus was first discovered in 1956 and has been one of the most common causes of illness in children and infants ever since. And while hospitals usually prepare for an annual surge during the winter months, that annual surge is starting much earlier.
As a result, RSV cases are currently surging across the country and children’s hospitals are having a hard time keeping up. Similar to what we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic, the recent surge in RSV cases is resulting in hospitals operating at full or near-full capacity. That’s why parents are starting to worry.
In a healthy adult, RSV symptoms will look a lot like a mild case of the cold – runny nose, loss of appetite, fever, coughing, wheezing and sneezing. While these symptoms eventually disappear, this isn’t the case with infants and children, who are at an increased risk of complications that can prove to be fatal.
If your child is experiencing a hard time breathing or is showing signs of an illness, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor or physician for a check-up. It doesn’t always mean they’re suffering from respiratory syncytial virus, but parents aren’t going to want to take that chance – especially with cases surging.
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