To say it was a miracle might be a stretch; but that is what his Mother Maryjo says.


It was Christmas Day and the Gallegos Family, like most, were excited about gifts and family time during the holidays. The kids were playing while Mom and Dad prepared to move the family celebration to the home of the grandparents.


And that’s when Roque got quiet and started to turn blue. He had swallowed a small ball and it was lodged in his airway. Small is relative because Roque is two-years-old and most things are bigger than he is.


Following several attempts by family members to aid Roque while the ambulance was on its way, Maryjo explained, he remained almost lifeless. Once on scene, the ground ambulance called HALO-Flight.


“When we respond to a report of a choking child,” said Christal Tressider, RN and HALO-Flight Medical Crew Member that day, we often hear coughing or similar sounds as we arrive on scene. That day, we heard nothing except the sound of panic from family members. “He was virtually lifeless,” added Flight Medic Derrek Bockholt, also with this call. This flight crew duo was on duty that day, and say that it will be a day neither will forget. The crew boarded little Roque in the helicopter air ambulance and sped off to Driscoll Children’s Hospital.


On the way there, a miracle really did happen, aided by years of professional experience and knowledge; the med crew was able to extract the ball, and that sought-after-sound of a choking child coughing rang out in the aircraft. Following a stint in the hospital, Roque was released with a clean bill of health.


“I just am so grateful that he is here,” his Mother Maryjo kept repeating as we talked about her Christmas Day miracle. Brothers Felipe and Leonardo played as we talked, and poised in front of the camera, all smiles because the three were together again.


On Monday, January 13 at 3:00 p.m. the original flight crew: nurse, medic and pilot, along with the Operational Control Specialist who dispatched the aircraft to the scene, will rendezvous for a much different reunion visit. This time – no small ball; just a vibrant and playful small child, and his miracle workers.

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