The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local news

June 15, 2013

‘Everything was in slow motion’

ENID, Okla. — Brandi Atkinson was at Sonic with a friend, Michelle Emmerson, when she answered her phone to hear her mother screaming hysterically that baby Dax was not breathing.

While Emmerson drove nearly 60 miles per hour to cover the three miles to grandma’s house, Brandi called 911. As she spoke with one dispatcher, she could hear her mother screaming on the other dispatcher’s line.

“He was almost 7 months old,” Atkinson said. “My mom babysat him. He went down for a nap. She laid him in the chair, like we’ve all done. She went and did a couple errands and came back and he wasn’t breathing.”

First efforts to save Dax

Police and Life EMS quickly arrived and started working to resuscitate Dax.

Enid juvenile detective Tim Doyle recalls hearing the page while he was in his car and rushing to the scene. Patrolman Jeff Suttmiller ran inside the house and Doyle followed just behind.

Most of the time, when detectives are involved with an infant death, it happens later, after a determination is made that an investigation is needed, Doyle said. On that day, Doyle performed CPR on Dax until emergency medical technicians and firefighters arrived.

Doyle remembers it as probably the worst call he’s been on.

“It’s tough for me to think that I did everything I knew to do, and I couldn’t do enough,” Doyle said.

For Brandi Atkinson, the tragedy seemed to play out in a time warp.

“Everything was in slow motion,” Brandi  said. “They worked on him in the house for a while, then worked on him in the ambulance.”

Atkinson remembers that as she watched them working on Dax, she didn’t know what to tell her husband, Ty. Emergency medical technicians worked on Dax about a half hour before taking him to Integris Bass Baptist Health Center. From there, Dax was airlifted to Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center.

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