Garland father works to raise awareness of hot cars after son's close call
GARLAND, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - On average, 38 children die in hot cars each year from heat related deaths, according to kidsandcars.org.
Eric Stuyvesant said he would see the reports and think as a responsible parent that could never happen to him, but seven years ago he accidentally left his son in a hot car.
Thankfully, his son survived and is a happy, healthy 10 year old. Stuyvesant has published a book sharing his experience hoping others can learn from it.
"I'm incredibly fortunate," he said. "The fact that he survived in and of itself is miraculous."
Seven years ago, on June 10th, Stuyvesant made a small adjustment to his schedule.
Normally, he would drop Michael off at the babysitter and then take his wife to work. That day, he dropped his wife off first.
"Rather than get off at the exit, I fell into that normal autopilot routine," Stuyvesant said.
After he got home, it took him an hour and 15 minutes to realize his son was still in the car. The outside temperature was 80 degrees and Michael was having a hard time breathing.
"I took him in and we took as cold a shower as possible and I gave him CPR," he said.
Medics took Michael to the hospital where doctors determined he had suffered six strokes.
Michael was put into a medical coma and from there the recovery process was long and hard but miraculously, he survived.
"It took a long time to come through that.. a long time.. and it was a lot of soul searching and a lot of time in the Bible," Stuyvesant said.
He said eventually he was able to forgive himself and realized maybe his story could help others dealing with similar emotions.
He detailed what happened in his book From The Inside Out: A Reckoning and Redemption, which is now available on Amazon.
His family is so proud.
"Hopefully, someone will read it and be able to find hope in it or give them that caution when they're with their children," Michelle Stuyvesant said.
"If they can take something away from it in the book that helps them turn a corner it will all be worth it," Eric said.
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