Dignity Health Merced | helloHealthy | Summer 2019

HelloHealthy | Summer 2019 7 Strong and steady in the face of danger Swift action by a young boy helps save the lives of his mother and sister Does your child know what to do in an emergency? Teach yours about knowing when to call 911 and what to say, staying calm, and staying on the phone. Some are calling him “Hero Boy.” He just calls himself Tyson. Tyson and his 4-year-old brother, Mason, were getting ready for school on April 11. Mom Erin Gaeta was there, pregnant with her third child and nursing a bad headache. Suddenly Erin became confused. She couldn’t put one foot in front of the other, and her head pounded. Something terrible was happening to her. “I couldn’t pick up my phone,” she recalls. So she told her Siri app to call her sister, Payton. “Something is really wrong with me” was about all Erin could say before falling to the ground. Tyson takes over That’s when Tyson snapped into action. Only 8 years old, he grabbed the phone and began relaying information to his Aunt Payton, who was already speeding on her way to Erin’s house. A police officer started following her, sensing there was something wrong. Meanwhile, Tyson continued reporting into the phone about his mother’s medical condition. “She’s twitching,” he said. “Something’s coming out of her mouth.” Payton told him to turn Erin over on her side. He tried, but he couldn’t move her. Payton arrived at the house with the police officer, and they called 911. Erin was in eclampsia, a life-threatening blood pressure spike that causes seizures. She doesn’t remember the paramedics arriving at her house. She doesn’t remember being taken to Dignity Health – Mercy Medical Center. What she remembers is waking up in the hospital and realizing she wasn’t pregnant anymore. She had undergone an emergency cesarean section. Daughter Scarlett was premature. But both Scarlett and Erin were fine. A hero’s honors Tyson never wavered when describing his mom’s symptoms to his Aunt Payton over the phone. The family isn’t surprised. “He’s a very smart little boy,” Payton and Erin agree. He also has a heart problem himself, so the medical world isn’t quite as foreign to him as it might be to other children. As far as Erin and others are concerned, Tyson’s fortitude saved two lives that day—those of his mom and his new sister. The Family Birth Center at Mercy Medical Center is honoring Tyson. And his school is giving him a certificate of heroism. Erin feels extremely blessed for the swift action of all involved in her care and the safe delivery of her daughter—including the obstetrics and emergency departments at Mercy Medical Center and, of course, her son Tyson. “I was afraid he’d be traumatized,” she says. “But this is turning out to be a positive thing for him. It’s good.”