Family Recognizes Compassionate Response

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 9 a.m. November 27, 2019

Responding to a call for a child in distress brought out the best in the First Responders who helped revive a child and comfort his family.

A man in TPS uniform with a couple holding a child
Noah and his parents Elia and Tiberio came to 14 Division to thank Constable Amir Elias for helping the family during a medical emergency

To show their gratitude for the care and compassion that a Toronto Police officer demonstrated in responding to a call for a two-year-old in medical distress a few weeks ago, the boys’ parents attended 14 Division on November 24 to present Const. Amir Elias with a thank you card.

The first officer on the scene, he helped to comfort the boy’s dad while Firefighters attended to the boy before paramedics arrived.

Elias was on patrol in the area on November 9 when the call came through for an unresponsive child.

“I got there at the same time with Toronto Fire and saw that a child was naked on a bed and not moving,” he said. “He was unconscious and appeared to be not breathing.”

Elias said the father was next to the child on the bed, screaming and banging on the bed.

“I pulled him out of the room so that the fire officers could do their job,” he said. “He then embraced me and continued crying in my arms as I was trying to get more information from him. There was a slight problem in that he spoke only Portuguese, so all I could do was try to console him and tell him everything was going to be okay. When the paramedics arrived at the home, they got the child to start crying, which is a good sign and I tried to communicate that to the dad. The child had a high fever and started to convulse and that’s what sent him into an unconscious state.”

Shortly after her son was transported to hospital, the boy’s father suffered a panic attack.

“He said he couldn’t breathe and his chest and left arm were hurting,” said Elias. “We had to call another ambulance for the father and he got checked out.”

The officer remained with the man until a second ambulance arrived to transport him to Mount Sinai Hospital for treatment.

Elias visited the family the next day to see how both son and father were doing.

“It was nice to see the boy was doing much better,” he noted. “He was in the care of his grandparents as the parents weren’t at home. I guess the follow up really touched the family and that’s why they came to the station to show their appreciation for what I did. I am a father and for a dad to see his child unresponsive has to be a useless feeling. I sympathise with the dad’s reaction because I later learned that he had to identify a brother who died in a car accident and, six years, ago, his mother succumbed to cancer.”

Elia Ortega, the boy’s mother, thanked Elias for going above and beyond the call of duty.

“Coming the next day to our house to check up on Noah and his dad just blew us away,” she said. “This officer was super sensitive. It is also very important for our son to know he should not be afraid of cops and they are there to help.”

Sgt. Scott Villers was at the station when the family visited.

“It was a pleasant surprise for everyone here and it’s nice to see one of our officers get some recognition from a community member,” he added.

Supt. Rob Johnson, the 14 Division Unit Commander, said the recognition goes a long way in demonstrating to officers that their service is very valued.

“It is also good for the community to feel they have a relationship with the police to the point where they can come our place of work and recognize one of our officers for a good deed,” he said.

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