MONMOUTH — Not all heroes wear capes, but Polk County Fire District No. 1 had one made for one young life saver.
Chief Ben Stange presented Jaxon Turpin, 8, a life saving award and custom-made cape in a ceremony on Thursd Station 90.
On April 29, Jeremy Turpin, of Monmouth, was sleeping when his son Jaxon noticed his dad’s breathing was a little off.
“He woke me up and said that I was making weird sounds and not breathing right,” Turpin said.
The elder Turpin doesn’t remember much about that night; he thinks he must have been going in and out of consciousness.
“He was breathing weird,” Jaxon said. “I went to get Nana.”
Nana, also known as Esmeralda Van Volkingburg, called 911.
“I was amazed at how calm (Jaxon) was,” she said.
They all tried to stay calm, but Jaxon said he did get scared when his dad was throwing up.
“That whole night was a huge blur for me,” Jeremy said.
Help soon arrived.
“It’s not often someone this age just has a sense that something is wrong,” Stange said. “It’s even more rare that they have the confidence to speak up.”
Jaxon was 7 years old at the time.
“When paramedics arrived, they immediately identified (Jeremy) Turpin as a critical patient,” Stange said.
They called for additional help and transported him to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis.
“While en route to the hospital, paramedics attempted to treat Turpin both through cardiac pacing and medication administration,” Stange said.
As they approached the hospital, medics had to assist Turpin with breathing, Stange said.
“Shortly after arriving at the hospital, Turpin went into full cardiac arrest,” Stange said.
Turpin could have gone in to cardiac arrest at home if not for Jaxon’s actions, he said.
Turpin said he gotten a staph infection while doing dialysis. That infection traveled to his heart, he said.
In January, it was discovered that created a hole in his aortic valve, which he had replaced, Turpin said.
He had heart surgery on April 18.
Turpin is feeling much better on Sept. 12, when Jaxon was presented with his award and cape.
“When (the chief) emailed me a run down (of what they were going to do), I got really emotional,” Jeremy Turpin said. “It’s pretty special when something this big happens in your life.”
In addition to the award and the cape, Jaxon was treated to a ride around the station in a fire engine.
There were also cupcakes and M&Ms to decorate them with. Jaxon waited to eat his until after posing for photos with family and Polk County Fire District No. 1 firefighters and EMTs.
“There is no doubt that without Jaxon speaking up, without his concern for his father, his dad wouldn’t be here today,” Stange said.