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Finally, the Voice on the Phone Said, 'You Just Saved Your Child's Life'

August 14, 1986|MARY BARBER | Times Staff Writer

One minute before Ryan Trego's life almost ended, he was just a regular 21-month-old toddler hanging around the family pool with his mom and dad.

At that same moment, Deputy Michael Guidos was just doing his job as a dispatcher at the San Dimas station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

But in an instant Ryan slipped into the water, and when he rose to the pool's surface he was unconscious. None of the things his desperate parents, Judy and Charles Trego, tried could make him start breathing again.

They dialed the 911 emergency number, and when Guidos answered he directed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by telephone, which his co-workers said is highly unusual and had never happened at the San Dimas station.

"I could tell they couldn't wait for the paramedics to arrive, even though that would only take five minutes," Guidos recalled last Friday, the day after the accident.

Judy Trego, 24, still sounded terrified the day after the accident as she cradled Ryan in her arms in the family's La Verne home and recounted Guidos' calm instructions.

"He told me to tilt the baby's head back, to open up the airway," she said. "Then he told me to put my mouth over Ryan's nose and mouth and blow, and that didn't work.

"Then he said to pinch the baby's nose and blow into his mouth but not too hard. And that didn't work either," Trego said.

"He said listen for a heartbeat, and there wasn't any. My baby was pale and his lips were blue, and there I was on the floor with the phone in my ear with my husband beside me, and we were afraid he would die.

"Then I gave a big blow, and a lot of water came out of Ryan's mouth and nose. Then Deputy Guidos said, 'OK, now turn the baby on his side and check his heartbeat.' It was beating! Then he just stayed on the line, telling me how to keep turning Ryan."

More water poured out of Ryan's mouth, Trego said, and then Ryan cried.

"Is that the baby I hear?" Guidos asked. "You just saved your child's life."

"No, you just saved my child's life," she said.

"I tell you, hearing that baby cry was fantastic," said Guidos, 33, the father of three children.

Although he has practiced on the standard dummies that are provided for CPR training, Guidos said, he has never had an occasion to administer it to a human. He had never had a call like Tregos' either, he said.

And when he listened to a tape recording of the telephone call, he was surprised that he did not sound as nervous and excited as he felt, and to find that it lasted only a few minutes.

"I felt like I had run a mile, just as hard as I could. I was totally exhausted and drained," Guidos said.

"I listened to that tape and I think he did an excellent job," said Sgt. Jerry Hand of the San Dimas station.

When paramedics arrived, they took Ryan to Pomona Valley Hospital, where he spent the night and was pronounced completely well.

"I still go over and over the whole thing, and Charles almost had a coronary, I think," Trego said.

"This shows how 911 saves lives, and so does CPR," Guidos said. " . . . In this kind of work, things don't always turn out so positive."

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