Three-year-old Jaden Miller was enjoying a day with his parents at Rapids Water Park on July 4, in Riviera Beach, when, without any warning, his heart suddenly stopped.
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Jaden had just come down from the slide when the first signs appeared. “He’s was on my shoulder,” said his father. “I didn’t even know.”
“He grabbed his head like this,” the mother said, pulling at her hair. “You know, like when somebody’s having a stroke, and his eyes rolled back, and he just passed out.”
After suffering the excitement of the water ride, park officials “ran him to first aid,” explained Tina Hatcher, spokesperson for Rapids Water Park.
“They immediately started CPR. We have EMT on staff, so as soon as they started CPR, they had already gone to get the AED [Automated External Defibrillator] and shocked him.”
“They were trying to call his name, but he was unconscious,” said the boy’s mother. “He’s out of it. They couldn’t find any pulse, anything.”
“The AED was put on, and it shocked the heart back to normal,” said Dr. Ming-Lon Young, at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.
Jaden was moved from St. Mary’s Hospital in West Palm to Hollywood Memorial Hospital’s Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital where doctors implanted a pacemaker-like device that will shock his heart whenever he needs it. “So the patient’s very lucky to be alive,” said Young. “With treatment he can have a normal life, but he will need support.”
“He’s strong,” said his mother, Neffretti Miller. “He’s strong. He’s a good boy.”