GROVE CITY, Ohio (WCMH) — First responders are thrown into life or death situations every day. They work in stressful situations, making a difference.
Jackson Township Fire Department Lt. Sean Garvey says, “It’s the big impact runs, the runs involving fatalities are the ones you really never forget.”
There are memories etched in your mind that never fully fade.
Kim Crishbaum explains, ” I hopped out of my car and when they pulled him out, it didn’t even look like him.” Crishbaum was told her son Matthew was involved in an accident. Those are the words a mother never wants to hear.
Crishbaum explains, “The pastoral staff came in right away so I knew it was pretty serious right from the get go.”
Kim’s one year old son Matthew was left along in a high chair. She recounts, “He tried to wiggle himself out of the chair. When he did, he started to slide, but his chin got caught on the tray and wedged his head back cutting his airway off immediately. It was considered a near hanging.”
Fate would have it that this young boy’s lifeless body fell into the hands of Jackson Township firefighters and paramedics.
19 years later, Lt. Sean Garvey explains, “I gave the medication. As soon as I gave the medication his heart rate came right back. It was pretty amazing.”
Matthew’s heart was beating again, but he remains permanently brain damaged. He’s beat the odds with life expectancy, which was originally a few days.
Matthew’s Mother Kim Crishbaum says, “I just literally prayed and said I will do anything if you let him stay here. I will take care of him forever.”
Soon, one year passed. Five more years flew by. Matthew celebrated with 20th birthday with his mother and classmates by his side this past week. This year, his mother wanted to do something special to make this milestone.
Crishbaum explains, “In this day and age people understand first responders more because of the 9-11 type events, hurricanes, and the mass shootings, but they’re heroes every day.”
Matthew’s mom Kim wanted to thank the very people who saved her son that January day in 1997.
Lt. Garvey says, “It’s been special for all of us.” Crishbaum will honor more than ten first responders from Jackson Township and Grove City Police Tuesday night. These are the very first responders who still remember saving baby Matthew.
Lt. Garvey adds, “The term hero is kicked around a lot at us, but we are ordinary people that are called to do extraordinary things at times. We are just a guy doing a job.”