“My story is an ambo’s worst nightmare,” Queensland paramedic, Troy Heise said.
It’s also a father’s worst nightmare.
Unresponsive in shower
Troy was at work when he got the call that a 12-year-old boy was in need of urgent assistance. Something had happened in the shower where the boy had been mucking around and possibly slipped or panicked after getting the chord wrapped around his neck.
Troy’s wife, Sarah, found her son in the shower, on the floor, unresponsive. She immediately dialed 000, not even registering that it could be Troy who received the call.
At first, when the call came through, Troy thought it was a mistake.
You’re driving down the street thinking, ‘They got the address wrong. That can’t be my house. Why would something bad happen at my house?’
That’s when our horror story started.”
Flynn had been at home with his mum and headed for a shower. He had been in for about 20 minutes, longer than normal. Sarah became concerned so pried open the door and found Flynn on the floor.
‘I couldn’t perform’
Troy recalls the moment he discovered his son in an emotional segment with The Project.
I wanted to help the best way I could but when it’s your own son, you’re emotionally attached, you’re scared, you’re angry, you’re worried. I couldn’t perform. I really couldn’t.”
I told him, ‘You need to stay here with me. You need to change shirts and be a husband right now.
You can’t be an ambulance officer because I need you. Your son needs you to be here with me.'”
As Troy’s colleagues took over, Troy stood back, comforting his wife and watching as they tried to save his son. For half an hour they tried to get a pulse out of Flynn. Nothing.
The father in Troy didn’t want them to ever stop trying. The paramedic in Troy knew what comes after half an hour. This was it. They were going to call it.
However, by some miracle, they got a pulse back. Flynn was rushed to hospital where he remained for three days.
Tragically, this is also where he passed away.
He never gained consciousness, but it enabled us to say our goodbyes.”
Flynn passed away in March 2021. He was 12 years old.
Flynn was obviously adored by his family and friends and has left a huge gap in his loved ones’ lives.
I just miss him. I miss the completeness of our family,” Sarah said. “There is a huge hole that’s missing in our family and I don’t know if that hole will ever be filled because he filled up such a big space.”
He lit up the rooms, he made you smile, he made you laugh. He was my best friend,” Flynn’s big sister, Morgan adds.
Troy, Sarah and Morgan’s recently sat down with The Project for an emotional interview as they relived this traumatic event. They also shared how Flynn lives on and has since saved the lives of so many.
You see, Flynn is an organ donor. It was his sister, Morgan, who suggested to her parents that they donate Flynn’s organs.
Flynns’ heart, lungs, and liver were transplanted into young children who would have died without them. Two women had their lives transformed thanks to Flynn’s kidneys and Flynn’s eye tissue restored the gift of sight for so many.
My son didn’t make it, but [the family of those who received the organs] would be cheering and being happy that their loved ones would make it. I’m so proud of my son and my daughter, ” Sarah says thorugh the tears. “I’m so proud of what he’s been able to do.”
Troy, who has since returned to work as a paramedic, adds,
The pride I have in knowing that, although, he’s not here, he is here. I’m just a proud dad.”
You can watch the full segment on The Project.
You can find out more about organ donation through Donate Life.