MUNCIE, Ind. (September 28, 2015) - An Anderson family is thanking a group of complete strangers in Muncie after they saved the life of a 10-year-old boy.
Owen Apple and his family were just sitting down to eat dinner at the Muncie Olive Garden this summer. Owen checked his blood sugar level, as he always does before he eats. He said the meter read 78.
“I was checking my blood sugar and then I think I just kinda blacked out," Owen said.
That's the last thing he remembered. He passed out on the floor and had a seizure.
“He was on the floor and I didn’t know what was going to happen," recalled Owen's mom, Joyell Apple.
She described the terrifying moments that she said felt like they lasted forever. She reached for Owen's glucose pen, but was too shaken to inject him. A nurse, also eating at the restaurant, knelt to the ground and calmly gave Owen the shot. The family said they still don't know who the nurse is.
Owen's condition improved slightly, but Joyell said the seizure seemed to not show any signs of letting up. Employees called 911.
As she watched her son turn blue and struggle to breathe, she said she looked up and saw crowds of people offering help any way they could.
“Everybody was just helping and there were so many people," she said.
One of the first to offer support was waiter Michael Kates.
“An emotional scene just to see him, because you would think he was about to die. He couldn’t breathe," Kates said.
He said he thought about his own children who are the same age as Owen and his brother.
“The whole time I’m saying, ‘Owen’s not gonna die. God is not gonna let him die’ and I just wanted them to calm down a little bit," Kates told the family.
Muncie Police Sgt. Chris Kirby was one of the first to receive the call for help. He said he was just down the street and rushed to the restaurant.
“He wasn’t breathing real well and that scared me a lot," Kirby said.
Kirby has experience with seizures. His mother suffers from epilepsy. He said he knew he was in the right place at the right time.
Kirby and EMS loaded Owen into the ambulance. Owen's mother said he was still seizing as she jumped into the front of the truck.
"Officer Kirby came around the door and I remember he said it’s gonna be okay and he gave me his phone number," she said.
Kirby said the gesture was almost second nature. He knew no matter what happened, he needed to be sure Owen would be okay.
“In my career, I’ve had 7 children die while I’m at work when I was the first person on scene, so I wanted to know he was okay," Kirby said.
Kirby, Kates, and others from the restaurant rushed to the hospital with the family. They sat in the waiting room for hours until Owen finally woke up. Owen is now out of the hospital, but still has a long road ahead. He continues to battle his diabetes and has many protocols to ensure he does not go into a seizure. He is still being tested at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health to find out exactly what caused the seizure.