GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Paramedics go on thousands of calls each year. Yet it was one eight years ago for a team in Green Bay they’ve never forgotten.
“As soon as he came out, he wasn’t, you could tell his breathing was very shallow. And then he stopped breathing,” said Cami Behl. She had just delivered her son, who she affectionately calls “Little Doug” in a bathtub and quickly realized something was wrong.
“The paramedics got there and took him right away. They were able to revive him on the way to the hospital. They were able to get his heart beating again,” said Behl.
Those paramedics were from Station 8 in Green Bay. One of them was Cody Johnson.
“This particular call was a high-stress call. Typically we don’t go to newborns,” said Johnson.
For someone who goes on thousands of calls a year, this one stood out.
“With Little Doug, very fortunately, and I still remember this and all the guys can probably attest to it, driving to the hospital in the ambulance, we heard that first cry and it was unbelievable,” Johnson added.
The firefighters and paramedics kept up with “Little Doug” through the years. Some of them are now retired.
“They came to his first birthday party, and we keep in touch on social media. So every birthday it’s reaching out to them and thanking them,” Behl said.
Which is how firefighters learned of the recent health struggle the 8-year-old is now facing.
“They came back and told us his heart is larger than an adult. And that Children’s Hospital was on their way to come get him,” Behl said.
“Little Doug” ended up having a mechanical pump implanted. He is the youngest kid in the world to come home on one of these devices, his mother said.
However, a recent aggressive infection has attached to parts of his implant.
“When you get an infection with non-human material in your body, it’s very hard to kill the infection,” Behl said.
The 8-year-old now fighting for his life. The men who helped save him once already knew they had to do something else.
“I got in touch with the Battalion Chief, and we decided, he decided basically, we were going to go down there (to the Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee) and put a smile on his face,” Johnson said.
They are now asking for your help to send cards to “Little Doug.” Inside they’re hoping you’ll send $1.
“We figured $1 would kind of like be a motivation. Let’s get through this, let’s get better, let’s get to the next step. We were talking to Doug in the hospital and one of his dreams is to have his own bank account,” said Johnson.
Pulling together for the Behl family one more time.
“I just thought, here they are again, being a blessing to my kid. And encouraging him. And we weren’t expecting them in a really hard time. So, it really means a lot just that they’re always there for him,” said Behl.
One routine call that changed the lives of so many.
WHERE TO SEND CARDS
Dollars for Doug
269 E River Dr., Apt. 8
De Pere, Wisconsin 54115
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