Boy meets HFD paramedics who saved his life

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Boy meets hero paramedics, Deborah Wrigley reports. (KTRK)

Andrew Sprauge is set to celebrate his ninth birthday next month. Last December, it was in doubt that he'd live until his birthday.

His mother found her him barely breathing on the couch and called 911. Within a few minutes, EMT's from Houston Fire Station 77 arrived, and were confronted with a pale, unresponsive child, who had no pulse.

"That doesn't stop us," said EMT Chris Hejl. "His color wasn't good, but it was all of us, working as one unit."

An ambulance followed and performed CPR on Andrew, restoring a pulse and some respiratory function. But, he was still in critical condition.

Andrew was diagnosed as a Type-1 diabetic. He was in a coma for the next week and doctors told his mother he might never walk again.

Fast-forward to Wednesday afternoon at Fire Station 77. At the fire station many of the same EMT's and paramedics who helped save the boy were reunited with him.

Andrew and his family wanted to say thank you.

Mother Judithon Sigley gives them the credit for saving her son.

"They worked their butts off to get him where he needed to be- to where he had a chance to live," Sigley said.

Without that emergency intervention, there would be no Andrew.

He was given a Jedi teddy bear as an early birthday present by the fire crew, but Andrew gave them something that brought a tear to some eyes. The gift was an album of his recovery, with pictures and messages, including, "Thank you for giving me a second chance."

Paramedic Captain Kevin Denny was among those who responded to Andrew's 911 call.

"This is the most rewarding call I've ever had in 9 years," he said. He also said this was the first time a patient had come to the fire station to say "thank you."

Emergency dispatcher Fatima Martinez remembers the call she took.

"Because it was a child, and I'm a mother," she said. "Most of the time we never hear the outcome. This one had a happy ending."

Andrew was treated to a tour of the fire station, and getting to honk the horn in a firetruck. He was as excited as any 8-year-old boy would be.

Asked of his memories of that day that he nearly slipped away, he said, "I went away for a while and when I woke up, there were people around me clapping." He said he also remembered the ambulance and a few of the faces.

"I think they're pretty special," Andrew said of his rescuers.

He's still a kid though, with a plan for his future.

"I still want to be a scuba diver," he added.
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