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Callie’s Naloxone Story

 

Kit #2501 Saved My Daughter’s Life

My husband and I were watching a local 10 p.m. news broadcast one evening when a newscaster announced an upcoming segment regarding the opioid epidemic.  This caught our attention as we both were horrified of the constant and increasing reports of overdose deaths.  Our 21-year-old son has struggled with opioid addition and we worried he could be the next victim.

On the segment, someone from the Steve Rummler Hope Network explained the importance of naloxone and its ability to save lives.   At this time we didn’t realize how very true this information was, nor were we aware of the miracle our family would shortly receive as a result of viewing this particular news segment.

We learned training classes and naloxone are available from the Steve Rummler Hope Network. That night I immediately emailed them and signed up for the very next training class.  My husband and I felt it very necessary to obtain naloxone but never imagined we would be using it only three weeks later to save our child.  Not to save the life of our son, but instead to save the life of our daughter.

Just three weeks after completing the training, I suddenly awoke to frantic screaming in the house.   It was my son yelling that something was very wrong with our daughter, Callie.   I ran into her bedroom and saw the most horrifying sight I had ever seen; my daughter was in bed and appeared dead.  Her face and body were an awful color of grey, and her lips and hands were a deep blue.  I grabbed her screaming her name.  She was unresponsive and cold. I screamed for my husband who then rushed into her room.

Our Daughter Callie had been a good girl who never got into trouble.  She was well provided for; born and raised in a home on Lake Minnetonka.  During High School, she didn’t swear, drink, or use drugs.  As parents, we felt somewhat at ease that Callie would be on a straight path in life.

Callie knew all about the devastation of addiction.  Her brother struggled off and on with addiction and this reaffirmed to her that she didn’t want any involvement with drugs or alcohol. Callie excelled in sports her whole childhood.  She was all-conference in her sport her Junior & Senior year and was chosen as a Minnesota All-Star her senior year.

In her room, painted pink and filled with stuffed animals, my husband cannot find any pulse; there is no sign of life.  At 20-years-old, our daughter lies dead in her bed with her eyes rolled back.   My Husband and Son rush her down to the floor and started CPR.  My husband and I had no idea what happened to our daughter.  While dialing 911 I ran to get the naloxone kit from my purse.

I didn’t know why I was getting the naloxone.  I knew our daughter had never previously used heroin or opioids.  And the kit wasn’t even obtained for her.  We got it out of fear of our son’s addiction.  But our daughter wasn’t breathing and even during this horror I remembered from the naloxone training they said “when in doubt…use the naloxone”  because it can’t hurt someone who hasn’t used opioids, but it can save their life if they have.

Being on the straight and narrow path, Callie began to feel like an outcast for not drinking or smoking pot while in high school.  She was losing friends because she did not want to participate in those activities.  As a freshman at College, she felt very alone.  To feel included she began to participate in smoking pot and drinking.  Quickly she gained friends and felt using allowed her to be social and not so reserved. Shortly after, she began experimenting with other drugs but vowed to never use opioids or heroin; she knew how it affected her brother and family.

The day she was found unresponsive in bed was the same day she broke that vow. She states she was told it was cocaine and didn’t know it was heroin.  Whether unknowingly or not, Callie does admit she should have known better.  Never using the drug previously she was provided two lines to snort.  She vomited and the second line was a lethal dose.

As my Son and Husband performed CPR, I was on the phone with 911 and was frantically fumbling with the naloxone kit.   But because of the Steve Rummler HOPE Network training,  I was able to successfully administer the first dose into Callie’s thigh.  There was nothing, no sign of life.   Her teeth were clenched and my husband couldn’t get the breaths into her mouth.  My son was performing such hard chest compressions I thought her bones would break.

My son screamed for me to hurry and inject the second dose of naloxone.  We were lucky the kit came with two doses.  I shot her again in the thigh.  Suddenly her tightly clenched jaw released and my husband was able to get some air into her. We kept following the 911 operators instructions for CPR and my son continued the hard chest compressions and my husband with the breaths. It seemed like forever as if ages of time were passing and that she was forever lost.

The first responders began to arrive. They took over CPR and administered additional naloxone at least 2 – 3 more times. I overheard a first responder say to another who just arrived “we have a female DOA”.   I stood crying in the other room believing we lost our daughter.  They persistently continued to work on her.  A first responder from the fire department suddenly reports they felt a pulse return…then they got her breathing again.  Soon after, she was moving her arms and legs and finally, they had her awake…she is alive again!  She starts to cry and tries to talk.  It took over 20 minutes to revive her.  One of the first responders tells us “you’re lucky you had those first doses of naloxone to give your daughter…it saved her”.

First responders and the hospital emergency room nurses and doctors were shocked we had the naloxone kit.  Both the first responders and the ER doctor reported that if it wasn’t for those first two doses from our naloxone kit and the hard chest compressions from our son, Callie wouldn’t have lived.  She was likely already too far gone when found unresponsive to have waited any additional time for naloxone. The ER Doctor at Abbot Northwestern said Callie is very lucky to not have brain damage because of the amount of time without oxygen. He said it was simply a miracle that she is alive.

We are so thankful for all that led to our daughter’s resuscitation. We are forever grateful to the first responders and especially to the Steve Rummler Hope Network for everything they do; they provided the services and naloxone that saved our daughter!

Just a few weeks prior to this event, happenchance, luck, or something more powerful led us to watch a news segment that informed us about the life saving medication, naloxone, and the Steve Rummler Hope Network’s services.

– Callie’s Parents

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