BUDA, Texas (KXAN) — A Buda, Texas family is sharing their heartbreaking story after almost losing their young son in a bathtub accident.
Life hasn’t been quite the same for 18-month-old Ezera Saucedo since early this year. Just four months ago he was walking, talking and playing with his brothers. But now, he is bound to a wheelchair and IVs, and medications are commonplace.
To understand Ezera’s journey and why his family calls him a “winter warrior” and a miracle, you have to go back to Feb. 17, during the deadly Texas winter storm.
“We woke up to low water pressure and no electricity, and that morning I decided we needed to fill up the tub,” said Ezera’s mother, Kortney Moss, to NewsNation affiliate KXAN.
Before she went to rest on the couch for a just a few moments, she warned her children not to go in the tub. She said her boys started playing in their room before heading to the living room.
“They got to the living room and dad asked, ‘Where’s your brother?'”
When dad went looking for Ezera, he noticed the bathroom door and the shower curtain were open.
“When he went to shut the shower curtain, he found Ezera facedown in the tub,” Moss remembered.
“The amount of adrenaline and fear that was running through my veins…It was crazy,” said Joshua Saucedo, Ezera’s dad.
“Ezera was in his arms, drenched in water, pale and lifeless. We immediately started performing CPR,” Moss said.
Ezera’s family said he was in the tub for only a few moments. They called 911 and rushed to the hospital, battling ice and snowy roads.
“I can still feel the ice on my feet, I was barefoot,” Saucedo said.
When they got to the hospital, doctors couldn’t detect Ezera’s heart rate. After minutes of uncertainty and panic, things slowly began to change.
“They said, ‘We’ve got a small heart rate, intubated him.’ He was on a ventilator and said, ‘We are transferring you guys to Dell Children’s,'” Moss said.
That’s where they were for 99 days, never leaving Ezera’s side.
“He sustained a brain injury in the part of the brain that allows you to move and talk,” Moss said.
His small brain was trying to rewire itself to get back to normal, but every day he was having full-body spasms. He continued to stay on a ventilator and IVs and x-rays became the norm.
“He went through the neurostorming for a period of time, and at the end of the neurostorming, he had pneumatosis, which is like air bubbles around your intestines,” explained Saucedo.
The days were long and the nights even longer But then — a small glimmer of hope appeared.
“He went from his intestines looking normal to bleeding through his bowels, and the next day it’s like it was gone, and the doctors couldn’t understand it [how his condition improved],” Moss explained.
Ezera’s father said by the grace of God, he overcame all odds.
Small miracles began to add up. Ezera went through hours of therapy, started breathing on his own and finally — it was time to go home. His family said there is still a long journey ahead.
“He’s a newborn all over again. We’re going to go through these phases where he’s going to crawl, walk and talk eventually,” Saucedo said.
They now have a message for parents.
“If you can do it, get swim lessons for your kids, go get first aid and CPR certified. We want to prevent this from happening to someone else’s child,” said Moss.
To learn more about Ezera’s journey or help his family with mounting medical bills, click here.