Birthdays are wonderful occasions that bring family and friends together to celebrate the passage of another year in the life of a loved one.
Food and cake are plenty. There are lots of presents for the birthday boy or girl. Many decorations especially balloons adorn the venues of a birthday party.
Birthdays are supposed to bring joy rather than heartbreak. Unfortunately for8-year-old Jaina McGloghlon the opposite was true. Her last birthday will be remembered with much sadness. And it was caused by one of the birthday decorations.
After having so much fun at her birthday party, Jaina was so tired. Her father tucked her into bed and kissed the exhausted child goodnight. It had been a wonderful party but he was glad it was over so Jaina could get some much-needed rest. The entire family wanted to relax as well after a day full of activities.
He went to check in on her several hours later. He thought she was sound asleep. The bed covers were over her face and she had one foot sticking out of the bed. He entered the room quietly so that he could pull the covers over her feet and away from her face. When he pulled the comforter down, he felt his heart stop in horror.
Pat McGloghlon, Jaina’s grandmother, told KATU about the events of that terrible night. She remembers clearly what happened. It was a night that family would never forget. She said her son had gone to check in on Jaina and he saw a foot sticking out of her bed.
He went in to take the covers off and that is when he had seen the balloon on her head. He was terribly shocked but he acted quickly and put her on the floor. He cut the balloon from her head. He alerted the rest of the household as he started CPR.
Pat says they called 911 immediately and prayed for a miracle for their little Jaina. The whole family was shell-shocked at what was happening just a few hours after a fun filled party. The balloon on the little girls head was one of the giant mylar balloons that had been used as one of the party decorations. Jaina’s dad had ripped it off immediately and screamed for someone to call 911.
The family knew there was an emergency but it was when they saw Jaina that they grasped the weight of it. The child was unconscious and she did not respond to her father’s efforts. But he kept at it, he would not give up. He had to hope for a miracle. He kept at the CPR until when the paramedics got there.
The emergency medics arrived promptly within minutes of the 911 call. They did their best to revive the 8-year-old child. They attempted this for over an hour before pronouncing the little girl dead. She had died from accidental suffocation. It was such an unexpected and an untimely death.
Her family was thrust into complete agony. They were so devastated. A day that had brought joy had ended so fatally. It was terribly sad that she died so young and on her birthday. She was just a second-grader with her whole life ahead of her. The family was instantly in mourning.
The family and police officers deduced that the little girl must have been trying to suck the helium out of the balloon.
In her efforts, she put the whole thing over her head. She was then unable to breathe properly. With her air supply cut, the poor child had suffocated.
Jaina’s unfortunate scenario occurs more often than many parents would like to think. Consumer Product Safety Commission has data that reveals that balloons are the children’s product that causes the most cases of child suffocation.
As children are left unattended with the balloons, they are likely to start to suck out the air from them as they deem this fun. This then leads to the children putting the balloons over their heads.
Jaina’s grandma is pleading with all parents and caregivers never to take the lives of their children for granted. She is encouraging them to hug their kids and assure them of their love. It took her family a long time to accept what happened, but eventually, they came to terms with it. Jaina’s family is sharing their story and is hoping that it will help prevent another untimely child death from happening.
No parent should ever have to lose their child in such a terrible manner. Such accidents can be prevented if all family members are vigilant.