A PARAMEDIC who was called out to his own home worked desperately to save his 12-year-old son – but it was too late.
Troy Heise faced every first responder’s worst nightmare when his wife Sarah called emergency services for help after finding their son Flynn unresponsive on March 16 2021.
For 15 years, Troy has been working as an ambulance officer, saving hundreds of lives – but never expected to need to use his medical training inside his own home.
He was on the job just a few months ago in his hometown of Hervey Bay in Queensland, Australia, when he realised their next address was his own, but thought it must be a mistake.
Troy told The Sunday Project: “In the back of your mind, you brain’s going, this isn’t real, this isn’t real.
“That can’t be my house, why would something bad happen at my house?
“This was so sudden and something that I never expected, it’s unheard of.”
He had no idea his wife Sarah of 17 years had made the emergency call to Australia’s 000 after finding Flynn in the bathroom.
The young boy had been in the bathroom for about 20 minutes, which was longer than normal, prompting Sarah to become concerned.
After bursting through the door, Sarah found their son unresponsive on the floor.
Sarah hadn’t clicked that her husband was working and hadn’t thought he might be the one who rushes to them.
Troy was in “total disbelief” when he got to the property to learn Flynn was in dire need of care.
Although he tried to help the best way he could, he struggled to find the separation between the job he needed to do and the feels associated with working on his child.
He said: “When it’s your own son, your emotionally attached, your scared, your angry, your worried… I couldn’t perform.”
Troy tried desperately to save Flynn, but he realised he might not be able to bring him back.
He went out to the front of the house to comfort his wife and got on the radio to tell his colleagues.
He told The Paramedic Podcast: “It’s my son. Send everyone. I ended up with 12 paramedics, six cops, our front street looked like a war zone.
“We were just in a daze, Sarah and I. We needed to step back.”
Flynn was taken to hospital, but died three days later after his family was able to say goodbye.
He said: “My world turned upside down. It was so hard to get called to something as traumatic as that.”
Troy says Flynn had been mucking around in the shower when he either panicked or slipped after realising the shower cord was wrapped around his neck.
Doctors asked if Flynn’s heart, lungs, liver and eye tissue, could be donated.
With much encouragement from his older sister Morgan, the family agreed.
Morgan said: ‘I remember sitting there and saying to mum, just imagine that family, imagine that call, ‘she’s going to get another 10 years’ or ‘she’ll be able to go to formal’.”
Flynn’s heart, lungs and liver were given young children who would have died without them.
His eye tissue helped restore the sight of several patients while two women received his kidneys.
Troy said: “It wasn’t an easy decision. But my boy saved lives, and although he’s not here, he is here. I’m just a proud dad.”
His mum added: “Even though my son didn’t make it, their family would be cheering and happy that their loved one is going to make it.”
Troy is now back working as an ambulance officer, and while it’s been tough, he knows he’s doing good by helping others.
ORGAN DONATION IN THE UK
The NHS says more than 50,000 people are alive in the UK today because of organ transplant.
There are a number or organs that you can select to be donated.
- Small intestine
- Tissue (from heart valves, skin, bone, tendons, eyes etc)
- Corneas (tissue at the front of your eye)
In 2016, 500 people died because a suitable organ was not available across Britain.
Max and Keira’s Law is the organ donor system which came into effect on May 20, 2020.
The law means everyone over 18 will be expected to donate their organs for transplant when they die unless they actively register their wish not to.
Ministers say the system will throw a lifeline to desperately ill people in the queue for new liver, kidney, heart or lungs.
It will also spare grieving families from the agony of having to give consent for a loved one’s organs to be donated if they are unaware of their wishes.
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