ER nurse, doctor asking for help in aiding family who lost 10-year-old son in fatal crash
MADISON,Wis. — As an ER nurse and an ER doctor, Melissa and Shawn O’Brien are used to high-stress situations.
“As an ER nurse, I’ve learned tomorrow is never promised,” Melissa O’Brien said. “Live for the moments, live for today.”
On Sunday, they faced a tragedy that reminded both of them of just how precious life truly is.
During their drive back to Madison from Chicago, Melissa O’Brien said, “Shawn was actually driving and he saw a splash on the side of the road.”
That splash was from submerged and flipped over minivan with Stacy Blume and her kids Cameron Simmons and Keyana Simmons, both of Addison, Illinois inside of it. They would later discover Blume drove off a section of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway near Huntley, IL, and slid off into a retention pond.
“She was just screaming. ‘My babies! My babies! I need to get my babies out of there!'” Melissa O’Brien said.
Blume was able to get herself out of the car.
Melissa and Shawn O’Brien said they did everything they could for what they said seemed like forever to get the other two out. Melissa O’Brien said Cameron’s body was stuck and she tried numerous times to hold her breath underwater to search for him, but to no avail. Keyana was the only one who made it out.
“I felt like I was his only chance,” she said.
When EMS arrived, she said they used the Jaws of Life to pull Cameron’s body out.
“My husband Shawn started mouth-to-mouth and CPR on the 10-year-old boy,” she said. “He was unresponsive and not breathing.”
Nearly two hours later, Cameron was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
“I can’t stop thinking about the what ifs,” Melissa O’Brien said. “What if I did this or that. Could I have changed the outcome?”
Melissa and Shawn O’Brien did everything they could have done as perfect strangers to help this family. During their time in the ambulance, and what would be their final moments with Cameron, Melissa O’Brien made a promise.
“I promised the mother I was going to be there by her side,” she said
She is fulfilling that promise even after that day.
Melissa O’Brien started a fundraiser page on Facebook to help this family through this. A time when everyone involved is thinking of Cameron and how precious life truly is.
“His favorite saying was, ‘I love you to the moon and back.’ He would kiss his mom on the forehead every day and his mom just misses it so much.'”
Police are still investigating the cause of the crash but Melissa O’Brien said after speaking with a state patrol officer, this is not the first time something like this has happened at that exact spot and that it is a dangerous section of road.
The family is working to get a guardrail set up to prevent this from happening to anyone else.
If you would like to donate to this family, you can do so here.
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