‘We are forever grateful’
Within a matter of minutes a birthday celebration at CVI Steak turned into the worst experience of one Gardnerville mother’s life, when her 22-month-old son began to have a seizure.
“At first I just thought he was having a fit because I wouldn’t let him down, then after a few minutes I realized, ‘No, something is wrong,’” mother Andrea Young said.
Young said her son, Dean, was not feeling well that day, but didn’t think much more of it than a common cold.
“We were trying to calm him, then all of a sudden he went limp and I saw his eyes roll back and he was shaking,” she said. “My mom was holding him and she had no idea what was happening, just that he was completely unresponsive.”
Young became frantic as she rushed out of the steak house, screaming for help and on the phone with emergency assistance as Dean turned blue.
She said employees began to come out and help, including Phil Dohrn, the casino floor manager.
“He was just a calming presence, he wasn’t as afraid and panicked as we were as the family,” Young said.
Dohrn laid Dean down and began to massage his chest.
Young said the touch helped Dean regain consciousness.
“I don’t know if it’s part of their job to know how to respond in an emergency situation, but this guy just knew what to do and it’s just phenomenal,” Young said. “Everyone was just super supportive and reassuring during the whole thing, even patrons outside and the ambulance. It was nothing but support from everyone.”
It turns out that Dean had experienced a Febrile seizure-convulsion that can happen during a fever. Febrile seizures can affect children 3 months to 6 years old, and are most common in toddlers 12-18 months old.
“We were given various opinions of what actually caused it,” Young said. “We were told it was the rise in his temperature, not just the temperature, but how quickly it happened and how he responded to it. When we left our house his temperature was 101.7, by the time we went to emergency it was at 104.”
Despite not knowing the cause, Young said Dean is making a full recovery.
“Like most kids in that particular situation he’s made a full recovery,” she said. “Febrile seizures are not super common, but they’re not unusual. The emergency response knew what had happened.”
Young said she is grateful for the quick response of staff members at the Carson Valley Inn and the support from the community.
“He (Dohrn) is a total hero in my eyes,” said Young. “He didn’t have to intervene, but we are forever grateful for what he did.”