Before her 4-year-old son died in a tragic accident, Ayla Rutherford, 29, was getting ready for her 6-year-old’s birthday celebration in Graham Washington.
She went to take a shower when her husband, Josh, also 29, woke up. She then heard a terrifying scream…their youngest son, Axel, had put a thumbtack in his mouth and aspirated it. Josh knew his son was choking and was attempting to do the Heimlich maneuver to save their child’s life.
While they waited for the ambulance, Rutherford said it was “the longest moment of my life.” She recalled the moment her husband called her name at 9:30 the morning of January 9 — saying she knew something was wrong.
“I immediately ran downstairs and I saw my husband and in-laws around him trying the Heimlich [maneuver],” she told The Daily Mail. “We thought my kid was choking — he wasn’t breathing. He was trying but he couldn’t. I was crying and screaming.”
Her mother-in-law called 911 as her husband searched her son’s mouth for whatever could be blocking his airway. Before long, Axel lost consciousness and turned blue.
“It felt like forever,” the mom recalled, “but eventually one of my neighbours across the street heard me screaming and crying. He started chest compressions. It was a three-way of trying to keep oxygen in him.”
“Eventually the [paramedics] showed up and tried CPR, then they started the paddles,” she shared.
After multiple attempts to revive the boy, they rushed him to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma. Doctors couldn’t find anything in Axel’s throat but a scan revealed he had a pushpin “between his ribs” — and the pin had punctured his left lung.
The thumbtack “had blocked the way for his right lung to breathe too,” the mom added. “He couldn’t get oxygen no matter what,” she continued. “They found the pushpin between his ribs on his left side.”
It took doctors two hours to remove the pin from the boy, going in through a tracheotomy.
“When you’re not breathing, your throat closes up,” Rutherford explained. “They had to do a tracheotomy and cut a hole in his throat to get it out. They eventually got it out and it was just a regular size thumbtack,” she said.
But Axel was not out of the woods. He’d gone a long time without oxygen and went into cardiac arrest five times.
Axel battled for survival for three days while on life support. Doctors also did a brain test on Axel, which consisted of two tests that needed to be done 12 hours apart.
“We were praying really hard,” Rutherford recalled. “I was like ‘Please don’t take my baby. Don’t take him from me.’”
An Electroencephalography test, or EEG, showed that Axel had no brain waves.
“At the first brain death test, me and his daddy and the doctor were there. It took half an hour and she told us it showed signs of brain death,” she recalled. “We wanted to do the second one. Our entire family showed up for that test. It was midnight the next day that they did the second test,” she added.
Their doctor saw a “minuscule sign of brain life.”
This meant they couldn’t officially declare him brain dead.
“His pupil twitched a bit and when they took him off life support, he tried to take a breath,” she said. “He tried.”
The only thing left for the family to do was wait. Rutherford and her husband would visit him in the hospital. They read him books, sang him songs, and told him that “we loved him.”
“On the 16th, me and my husband and Soren were out going on errands when we got a call from the doctor about around 1 p.m. saying he did a brain death test without us knowing,” she recalled.
The doctor instructed them to come to the hospital quickly.
“The doctor told us he was really aggressive with Axel to see if he could get any brain activity. He didn’t,” she said.
On 1:35 p.m. January 17, Axel was officially declared brain dead. He was cremated and his family held a service for him on February 6. And telling their 6-year-old Soren was beyond difficult.
“That day we came home, me and his daddy sat him down and told him Axel died,” the mom recalled. “You use real words. You don’t tell him he passed away or he’s gone. You tell him that he died. You use real words — even though they hurt.
“We told him that he died, and we had to explain that he’s with Jesus and no longer sick, but he wouldn’t be coming home anymore,” she continued.
“He cried for five minutes then said, ‘I want to go watch TV.’ He’s special needs and didn’t really understand,” she added.
Axel had never put anything in his mouth before and his mom never imagined this happening.
“We were done with the baby thing. Of course, we were still cautious, but I was thinking where did he even get the tack? We didn’t have any pins like that in the house,” she explained.
The only thing that came to mind were the thumbtacks she used for her homeschool posters, but she swears she will only use sticky tack from now on.
“It’s just not worth it — it’s not,” she said. She still thinks of what would have happened if he would have swallowed it and it went into his stomach instead of aspirating it.
“If Axel had swallowed it, he’d have been okay,” she said. “It might have punctured his intestine or his stomach and he’d have told me his tummy hurts, then we’d have taken him to the hospital.”
On a GoFundMe page that the family started to help raise money for Axel’s funeral fees, the mom shares her son was a happy boy “filled with so much light and laughter.”
“He LOVED and I mean LOVED dressing up. From superhero[s]\ to Woody or Buzz to daddy’s shirt to mommy boots to drawing on his face to be Catboy from PJ Mask. And the hats our baby LOVED hats, any kind he could turn anything into a hat.
“A tack. A thumbtack did so much damage to his little body,” she added.
She wrote that she prays that anyone with a child in the house will remove thumbtacks because “there are other ways to hold things up that won’t hurt or kill a child.”
“I know that our hearts will always have a chunk missing because he took it with him,” she wrote.
Tale of rescue after falling several floors in Fla. collapse
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — When 16-year-old rising volleyball star Deven Gonzalez was pulled from the rubble of her Miami condo building, her initial reaction amid the shock was to tell firefighters that she had to compete in a major tournament in a few days.
The teen’s world revolved around volleyball. She played beach volleyball, on her high school team and with a competitive travel club team. From her hospital bed where she’s undergone multiple surgeries for a broken femur, she apologized profusely to her coach for missing their final practice.
“I said, ‘Let’s focus on you right now and not volleyball,'” said club coach Amy Morgan, who described Gonzalez as extremely determined, passionate and unrelenting in pursuing her goals.
Gonzalez lived with her parents on the ninth floor of Champlain Towers South. She and her mother, Angela Gonzalez, fell several stories before being rescued on the fifth floor, she told her coach. Her mother was among the survivors pulled from the rubble and is still hospitalized with serious injuries, Morgan told The Associated Press.
At least two dozen were killed in the building’s partial collapse June 24. Deven Gonzalez’s father, attorney Edgar Gonzalez, is among the more than 120 still missing. The family’s eldest daughter, Taylor, who was not in the building at the time of the collapse, has been a source of strength for her mom and sister, according to Morgan and Joslyn Varona, a family friend who has posted frequent updates on Facebook.
“This is a strong and wonderful family,” Varona said. “They have a lot of faith.”
Deven Gonzalez still hasn’t been able to see her mother because they are in separate parts of the hospital, but she briefly video chatted with her a few days ago on her mother’s birthday when Angela Gonzalez’s intubation tube was removed, Morgan said.
even Gonzalez was conscious when the building collapsed and throughout her traumatic rescue, her coach said. She remembers the details vividly and is having trouble sleeping, haunted by nightmares.
“I don’t know if she’s completely come to terms with everything. She has and she hasn’t,” said Morgan, who added that Gonzalez was unaware of the extent of the tragedy and the worldwide attention it’s received.
“She says, ‘My dad’s still missing. My dad’s still missing,'” Morgan said. “She gets really choked up about it.”
The teen even took her first few steps recently.
“It’s going to be a nasty, hard painful road, but I think she can do it,” Morgan said.
Angela Gonzalez will undergo surgery for her extensive injuries this week, but has been responsive when asked questions, Varona said in her Facebook posts.
“There has not been any news on Edgar,” Varona wrote. “We are still praying and hoping for a miracle.”
Varona said she has set up a letter writing campaign to encourage the family.
Edgar and Angela Gonzalez were extremely involved with their daughter’s volleyball goals, the coach said. Her mom was like the team therapist, always listening and encouraging the girls.
Edgar is a kind, gentle and jolly father, Morgan said. After one tournament, he helped prepare a massive BBQ feast for the team. The family was about to leave for Orlando when the building collapsed. Edgar was so excited he’d been packed for two weeks.
“They’re so loving, so supportive,” Morgan said. “I see a lot of (Gonzalez’s) strength coming from her parents.”
The tragedy has been difficult on the close-knit volleyball team, which met for practice Thursday night and allowed parents to participate. Everyone sat in a circle and held hands as they prayed. Many cried.
“Deven is such a hardworking and loving person,” her teammate Liyah Deveaux said Sunday. “We can’t wait for her to get back on her feet. We love and miss her so much.”
A GoFundMe site has raised more than $100,000 for the family.
“We’re really trying to help and be supportive, but we feel absolutely helpless that we can’t make it better,” Morgan said. “Every single one of us would be in there digging through the rubble. If we could be there, we’d be doing it.”
Annoyed Mom Of 7 Puts Up Angry Sign After Neighbors Keep Complaining About Her Kids
An annoyed California mom has erected a sign calling her neighbors “Karens” after they repeatedly complained about her seven kids playing outside. Raquel Davis of Sacramento allows the kids to play outdoors on the street in front of their house, with several of them enjoying skateboarding as a hobby. However, the neighbors are none too happy about this and have been calling the police because of the noise, claiming that it’s meant to be a quiet community, not a public park.
1. RAQUEL’S SIGN READS: “THIS NEIGHBORHOOD IS FULL OF KARENS.”She decided to put the sign up after becoming fed up with the latest police call-out last Saturday when one of her sons was celebrating his birthday by skateboarding on the street. One neighbor even came over to claim he could hear the kids from inside his house and to demand that Raquel make the kids watch their language. While she tried to be agreeable, once the neighbor left, Raquel hit breaking point.
2. SHE HUNG THE SIGN UP IN HER DRIVEWAY.Raquel didn’t know what else to do but to hang the sign on the basketball hoop in her driveway, displaying the angry message to the rest of the neighborhood. “I felt this is my son’s birthday party. They’re out skateboarding and I guess I was at my final straw. My last thing. I don’t know what to do so I put up the sign,” Davis told CBS 13. She claims the police have been called three times in the past month and she’s at wit’s end.
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4. THE NEIGHBORS AREN’T TOO BOTHERED ABOUT THE SIGN – THEY CARE ABOUT THE SKATEBOARDING.One neighbor claimed to the news station that they hadn’t called police at all but that those in the neighborhood couldn’t care less about Raquel’s sign. Instead, they wanted the noise and skateboarding to stop. “These folks moved in and it’s basically The Animal House, house in the neighborhood,” Bruce Foster, one upset neighbor, revealed. “There is like no sense of noise control.”
5. THE NOISE HAS BEEN HAPPENING FOR MONTHS AND RESIDENTS ARE SICK OF IT.Foster added: “It’s like there’s a park going on here. This is a neighborhood. It’s not the park. The people that live here did not move next to the park on purpose.” However, Davis said she didn’t know how to eliminate all noise when the kids are simply outside playing as kids do.
6. HOW WITH THIS SITUATION EVER GET RESOLVED?According to Foster, the only way forward is for Davis to begin addressing the issue. “They need to start recognizing that they have neighbors. That’s what it’s going to take. There’s no other alternative. The neighbors are not going away,” he said. However, Davis still doesn’t get what the problem is. “That’s why I came to this because I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know who’s calling. I keep my kids in past dark. I don’t know what to do,” she said.
‘Married at First Sight’ Star Jamie Otis Opens Up About ‘Torment’ She Still Feels After Having Abortions as a Teen
Former “Married at First Sight” star Jamie Otis didn’t have the easiest childhood.
One of five children, Otis’ mom wasn’t able to care for any of them. Once Otis was old enough to handle it, she became her siblings’ primary caregiver.
Otis told People:
Ever since I was little, my mom told me she almost aborted me. I know that sounds a little hypocritical coming from me, but with that being said, my mom had a total of five children — none of whom she could provide for. I don’t mean this to be negative towards my mom. It’s just a fact.
My mom was sexually abused by a relative and beaten to a bloody pulp so many times by boyfriends. I had no idea who my father was. My siblings and I would wake up with no heat, no electricity and no food half the time because my mom couldn’t afford us all. Even if she tried to have a job, she had five kids as a single woman and had no self-worth or support.
By the time Otis was a teen, her mom became addicted to drugs and would leave her and her siblings alone for weeks at a time to fend for themselves.
And by the age of 18, Otis found herself going down a similar path.
As a freshman in college, Otis fell pregnant to a boy who “wasn’t able to be a good father”:
I’ve never wanted to be with the possessive, controlling and jealous kind of guy my mom dated, and in my heart I knew my boyfriend wasn’t able to be a good father.
Despite growing up in a family that doesn’t have abortions “under any circumstances,” Otis made the decision she never thought she would make:
I chose to have an abortion. I wouldn’t have been able to provide this child the kind of life he or she deserved. And I wanted to finish college and provide for my siblings and give us a better life. I didn’t see how that would be possible while also taking care of a baby.
Then Otis fell pregnant again while in nursing school.
I don’t even want to admit that it happened twice, but here I am sharing my story so other women can feel that they aren’t alone. Abortion was so frowned upon in my family, but I think even my mom would vouch for this today: We should be able to have the choice in hopes of breaking the cycle. My mom went on to live a life that was so destructive not only for herself but for every single child she brought into this world that the cycle continued with my sister until she was able to pick up the pieces of her life and change it.
The choices she made years ago still make her feel “like a terrible, selfish human being” to this day. She says she wishes she had someone around her back then who would have told her she wasn’t “evil.”
Now, she looks at her husband, Doug, and her daughter, Henley, whom she says she wouldn’t have had she given birth to two other babies with men not fit to be fathers:
I know I’m going to get backlash for opening up about my past. Like I said, my abortions still torment me and I hate that I had to have them. However, am I thankful? Of course. I wouldn’t be able to be a good mother to my daughter right now or have been able to be a good parent to my siblings back then.
The mom of one, who has also been open about her struggles to continue growing her family, opened up further on Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
I’ve been keeping a shameful secret. The only place I had the guts to share about it was in my book, Wifey 101. And boy, did I get backlash. • Its very controversial. Some women who read my book came right here to my page to spew the most hurtful words at me. They’ve called me all sorts of cruel names. I hate to admit it, but I caved to their hatred. I just couldn’t cope with it all, so I kept quiet about my truth. But I just cannot continue to sit in silence while women’s fundamental human rights are being taken away. I am speaking up for HER. • I had an abortion. Twice. Is it something I’m proud of? Heck no! No one *wants* an abortion. It has left the most painful hole in my heart. But do I think women should be stripped of their right to choose? Absolutely not. • I’m speaking up for the little girl who was raped. She’s been through enough pain. She needs to know her voice DOES matter. For the woman who has a medical condition and will die if she carries. This woman should be allowed to decide what’s best for her. And for the young adult who is just like I was…I am speaking up for YOU. • You’re a teenager raising your 3 younger siblings all alone while your mom is off on drug binges. You’re trying to keep food on the table, heat & lights on in the house, AND put yourself through college while working as a waitress. You’re not evil if you want to break the cycle of welfare, drug addiction, & raising fatherless children. You’re not a monster if you want to raise children in a loving, stable, healthy environment. • There *is* a shade of grey. I dont believe in aborting at every stage of pregnancy. What I do believe in is EDUCATION AND PREVENTION.?? • We can’t hate on women and stifle their voices and their needs – especially if we haven’t walked in their shoes. Instead, let’s focus on education in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Let’s lift victims up in support and let them know they matter & their voice is heard and respected. • Ladies, no matter what our belief is-we’ve got to support one another. Love is the only way we can truly make change in this world…we cannot standby & let men take away our fundamental human rights.?#womensrights
A post shared by J a m i e O t i s (@jamienotis) on
Otis says there needs to be more open discussions around sex education.
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