When my husband and I decided to move to the popular city of Roanoke, TX we were not aware we were moving into an area of land that had been annexed for TX Motor Speedway in 1995. The only thing we were concerned about was finding a great school district for my child and the new baby we were going to have. We also wanted to find a nice house they could call home. When we purchased our home we had no idea our baby would suffer a massive stroke and need full time medical care. We have had to call 911 due to Jude's condition a handful of times. The Fort Worth Fire Department and Med Star EMT'S have been AMAZING. However........did you catch what I wrote? That's right...we live in Roanoke and Fort Worth emergency responds. Due to the annex we basically feel we are a floating city that no one wants to claim. We know to stay calm in situations with Jude and if possible we transport him ourselves. We do this because we have learned that calling 911 in our area equals a very slow response time.
Sunday morning I heard Jude coughing over the baby monitor. This is not unusual and it generally takes a pat on the back or rolling him to a different side to remedy the situation. However, on Sunday he was having a very difficult time. I first administered CPT which is where you use a small cup to pat on the front and back. My assumption was that Jude had phloem stuck in his throat and needed help dislodging it. However he continued to wheeze and started to turn very pale. I then administered an abuterol treatment and connected his stats monitor. His Blood oxygen read 70. This is real low, but I know the machines are not always reliable. So I secured the toe monitor tighter and rechecked his vitals. I counted his breaths 1, 2,3,4,5......to fast I thought. I took his abuterol mask off and turned Jude on his side. I checked his fingernails........blue.........his toenails.........blue.........around his mouth....blue. Heart rate - 220. Respiratory rate 67. Time to call 911.
I walked into our bedroom calmly where Mike was sleeping, "Mike I need you to wake up and call 911 please". He looked like a cat coming out of a net "WHAT????". He then followed me "what is going on". I had Jude still on his side started giving CPT on his back again. I explained the situation quickly, but Mike was still half asleep. He responded "I think we should transport him". I said " The baby has blue fingers and toes I will not be one of those mothers that thinks she can transport when I know he needs oxygen". So I called 911...............and thus the reason for my rant today.
I cannot remember verbatim the conversation but it went something like this....
911 how may I help you?
Me: This is Jennifer Ortiz and I have an emergency with my son I am in Chadwick farms and I need Roanoke to respond.
911: You are requesting Roanoke?
Me: Yes. They are 3 miles vs FT Worth who takes 18 minutes.
911: Roanoke? This is FT Worth 911 with caller requesting transport from Roanoke
After that basically Roanoke said they wouldn't help us and sent me back to FT Worth. Luckily FT Worth knew and had already dispatched Med Star. It took 14 minutes for the fire department to arrive and 18 minutes for the ambulance to arrive. Once they got there they were amazing, but it was an unnerving scene. They immediately hooked up oxygen and an IV and carried Jude to the ambulance vs using the normal stretcher. Mike said we spent over 20 minutes in front of our house stabilizing Jude prior to transport. His seizures were coming in waves one after another with full convulsions on some. He was one sick little guy with a fever of 103.8 auxillary which is actually 104.8. They believe he had a viral infection that caused febrile seizures on top of his regular seizures which caused his blood oxygen to drop and heart rate to sky rocket. Once at the hospital he was tended to, regulated, and we felt comfortable taking him back home.
We have had continuous issues with the response time after calling 911. I even had an issue once being transferred FOUR times to different cities because 911 wasn't sure which city should respond. That was the incident where Jude had aspirated and the doctor's were amazed he made it. On one trip (I won't mention which one because this EMT was amazing) an EMT looked at me and said
"Ma'am I am sorry it took us so long to respond"
Me: "I didn't want to say anything because I know it's not your fault"
EMT: "No it's not, but something needs to be done about your area and everyone in this vehicle knows it"
Me: "What happened to the Med Star that was stationed off West Port Pkwy?"
EMT: "They cancelled it for budget reasons"
Me: "Sigh, wonder how they would feel if it was their child that was sick"
EMT: "Good question"
Me: "Look we are well educated and know how to care for our son, but what if someone in this neighborhood had a massive heart attack? Every second counts!"
He agreed with me.
In my mind the medical industry should render aid first and ask questions later. I don't know the politics going on between the cities due to the annex. I do know Roanoke wouldn't allow me to rent their clubhouse at a resident rate because I was technically in FT Worth with a Roanoke address. However, not renting me your clubhouse is very different then not helping a child. Again in an emergency situation every second counts and 18 minutes feels like a lifetime. Something needs to be done! I want to make sure that anyone that suffers a heart attack, a stroke, falls, or any life threatening emergency can be handled in our area. In fact, I read on the blog of the mother of the little boy that drowned it took about the same time to respond to him. I wonder if that situation could have been different?
I feel this is about money. This is two cities fighting over the annex and no one wants to officially claim us. 14-18 minutes in my mind is an unacceptable response time. I work for an insurance company and we will not insure any home with more than a 7 minutes response time....why? Because by the time you reach 14-18 minutes what do you think a fire is going to do? Let's put this in perspective........if you had a child that was seriously injured and every single second count.........how would you feel being on the line for that long?
Something needs to be done. I am asking the local TV station or someone to pull my 911 call and listen to it. I educated, I am medically aware, and this is unacceptable! That is my rant for the day. I am however very thankful Jude is doing better.