Meritorious Service

Two-year-old Malli was celebrating her birthday with family and friends at a Baby Shark-themed party earlier this year. After the party, the unthinkable happened…Malli fell into the swimming pool with her mother just a few feet away. Thanks to a cousin who saw her right away, Malli’s mother, Maddie, immediately jumped in to grab Malli, but she had already taken on a lot of water. Maddie called 911 while her husband, Colton, started CPR on Malli.

Maddie recounted that Colton had never performed CPR before, but in that moment, he stepped up and did what he had to do. That quick response and bystander CPR drastically improved Malli’s chances of surviving.

Loreauville VFD FF/EMR Matthew Wingfield, Eng/EMR Willie Ronsonet and Capt. Brad LeBlanc arrived on scene first and took over CPR. Malli was awake, but lethargic and listless. The firefighters worked to keep her awake and provided positive pressure ventilation (PPV) until Acadian Ambulance paramedics Robert Quereau and Jonas Romero arrived and assumed care.

Robert and Jonas continued PPV and administered oxygen while keeping the parents informed. They transported Malli to Iberia Medical Center, where her condition markedly improved. Air Med transported her to Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge for observation overnight. Maddie says that the next morning, Malli awoke as if nothing had happened - a huge relief for everyone.

Malli has recovered from her accident with no deficits, and the family has much to be thankful for this Christmas.

This week, Maddie, Colton, Malli and her older sister, Caroline, reunited with the firefighters and medics. They got to visit and share their gratitude for the responders’ quick actions. Maddie was overcome with emotion when recounting the story of that terrifying afternoon, reiterating just how quickly something can happen.

The firefighters and paramedics, along with Colton, received Acadian’s Meritorious Service Awards for going above and beyond in providing exceptional care and action in the line of duty.