Sheriff’s deputies Monday surprised the family of a brain-damaged boy with a check for about $5,000 to help pay for his rehabilitation.
Jacob Suarez was revived after nearly drowning when he fell into the family’s pool on Sept. 19, 2009, but the then-2-year-old suffered brain damage, Nicole Nishida of the sheriff’s department said.
“Deputy Ken Mort responded to a ‘child not breathing’ call,” Nishida said. “Upon arrival, he discovered … Jacob had fallen into the family pool during a family event and was being given CPR by grieving family members.
“Deputy Mort took the young child and immediately drove him ‘code 3’ to Queen of the Valley Hospital with a firefighter giving him CPR,” Nishida said.
Each year on his birthday, Jacob’s mother, Stephanie Prado, calls Mort to thank him for saving her son, Nishida said, adding that Jacob recently turned 8.
This year, Jacob’s family held a fundraiser to help pay for his treatment in a hyperbaric chamber. Oxygen therapy “re-sparks damaged brain cells,” Nishida said.
As a surprise, sheriff’s Industry Station personnel — including Deputy Mort — and a representative of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs held a gathering this morning for Jacob and his mother to present them with a check for about $5,000, Nishida said.
The family hopes the treatment will help Jacob regain better control of his movements and possibly walk again, Nishida said.
— Staff and wire reports
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