‘A beautiful little boy’

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Dog-bite victim doing well as emergency personnel receive awards for helping save his life

By Deb Hurley Brobst

Kai Bianco is being called a “miracle baby” by Evergreen Fire/Rescue paramedics and Flight for Life personnel.

Kai, who turned 1 on Saturday, was bitten in the head by the family dog on March 4. Not only did he survive, but according to his parents, he’s back to doing everything he was doing before the accident: pulling himself up to standing, babbling like babies do, and feeding himself.

Evergreen paramedics and Flight for Life personnel gathered at Children’s Hospital Colorado on May 20 to receive awards for the work they did to save Kai’s life. Their quick actions are the reason he’s alive and doing well today. May is Trauma Awareness Month.

While the emergency responders were happy to receive the honors, they were happier to see Kai doing so well. Kai and his parents, Shelby Foley and Brandon Bianco, attended the ceremony.

“Critical decisions were made quickly,” said Children’s Hospital trauma program manager Stephanie Harrison. “This is such an amazing example of how our state’s trauma care system works. This was a true testament to the care we give children every day. It’s rare that we get to see the results of what we do,” she said, referring to Kai being in the room.

Evergreen Fire/Rescue’s paramedics received the agency award for excellence in pediatric trauma care.

“They arrived on the scene in 6 minutes, and their aggressive and outstanding medical care gave Kai a chance,” said Jason Kotas, Children’s Hospital’s EMS manager.

Flight for Life received the flight team award for excellence in pediatric trauma care.

“They took over medical care and managed a stressful situation, delivering Kai within one hour to the hospital,” Harrison said. After an injury, the first hour after the incident is called the “golden hour,” which is critical in delivering medical treatment.

On March 4, Foley was cleaning in the living room and turned around to find Kai pinned to the couch by Simon, a 5-year-old, 70-pound American bulldog who had been the family pet for four years. Simon’s jaws were around Kai’s head.

She put Simon in the bathroom, wrapped a towel around Kai’s head and called 911. Since then, Kai has been through five neurosurgeries and six plastic surgeries to cover the right side of his skull. Kai wears a hat to protect his head.

Kai has been at Children’s Hospital since the accident. He’s in a rehabilitation ward, where he works on movement, especially on the left side of his body, which was most affected.

Foley’s uncle, Jace Karford, a dispatcher for Evergreen Fire/Rescue, was on duty when Foley called 911. His partner answered the phone, and as soon as he learned who was calling, he took the phone.

“The right motions were put into place,” he said. “It’s a great outcome.”

“It’s good to see him like this,” paramedic Mike Sivertson, who answered the call with partner Quintin Galt, told the family. “His grip is strong.”

Foley said she remembered Flight for Life nurse Juris Lozenicins and paramedic Bob Vaughn taking Kai from the Evergreen paramedics. Vaughn praised Foley for her quick thinking.

“You handled a difficult situation and took command,” Vaughn said. “Many people freeze in those situations.”

Lozenicins said this was one of the most emotional calls he’s ever gone on, so it was special to see Kai doing so well.

“He’s a beautiful little boy,” Lozenicins said.

Vaughn said everyone from the dispatchers to the sheriff’s department to the fire department worked well together to get Kai to the helicopter, and then Children’s Hospital personnel were able to provide the lifesaving medical care.

He added: “It’s good to have a flight with a happy ending.”

Contact Deb Hurley Brobst at deb@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1041. Check www.CanyonCourier.com for updates.