By Ethan Colbert
In 2003, Holly Leverenz stepped into the nursery room of her rural Pike County home. She found her five-week-old daughter, Mya, in her crib. The baby’s skin was the color of wet concrete. Mya was not breathing.
“I called 911 and they hung up on me,” Leverenz said. “They didn’t say a word. I called them back and said I needed an ambulance because my baby was not breathing. They told me they were sending an ambulance and then they hung up on me again. I called them back a third time and told them I needed help. I didn’t know what to do. The dispatcher told me that they didn’t stay on the line with me because all they did was dispatch first responders and the ambulance. They told me they didn’t have the proper training to give me the instructions that I needed.”
Fortunately, adrenaline pumped through Leverenz’s veins and she was able to partially revive Mya by the time first responders arrived. Mya, who is now 14, would later make a full recovery.
However, as she watched her daughter be placed inside the ambulance, Leverenz vowed to herself that she would do anything in her power to try and improve the county’s 911 system that she describes as “flawed.”
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