Archive for Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Quick-thinking youth calls for help

Doctors testing local 4-year-old after medical emergency

February 19, 2003

Three quick strokes on the telephone keypad helped 4-year-old Jenny Hupe out of a frightening situation Thursday evening.

As Jenny started kicking and her speech became muffled, Jenny's 11-year-old brother Cody Boggs picked up the phone and dialed 911.

Within three minutes, paramedics arrived at the family residence and Jenny eventually was taken to Children's Mercy Hospital via helicopter.

Many would say Cody was brave in the situation, but don't use H-word in his presence.

"Don't call me a hero," Cody said emphatically.

Jenny's older brother said he and his sister were in their parents' bedroom while he fed the family's pet lizard. Another brother Tanner Boggs and the siblings' other sister Brooke Hupe also were in the house when Jenny started to have trouble breathing.

Cody called 911 and explained the situation.

"I was thinking 'call Mom,' but I called 911 instead," Cody said. "I was nervous."

Acting Tonganoxie assistant police chief John Putthoff said Cody did the right thing.

"We were kind of impressed with him with how he handled the situation," Putthoff said.

While Cody was watching over his sibling, his mother, Jody Hupe, and her other son Jacob Boggs, 13, were interviewing daycare providers. Jody's husband, Jeff Hupe, also was away from the family home attending a conference in Basehor.

After running a bit late, Jody Hupe called home just to check in, not knowing paramedics had been called to her house. During her conversation with Cody, she lost the signal on her cell phone.

When she arrived at her home, she found her daughter in good hands.

"Paramedics were awesome, it was just a scary situation," Hupe said.

Doctors were unsure what happened to Jenny, although they suspect it most likely was a seizure.

She never had a seizure before, but physicians at Children's Mercy put Jenny through an electroencephalogram Tuesday morning to monitor her brain waves. It is hoped the brain scan will determine if Jenny has any seizure tendencies.

Her mother said they also hope to rule out epilepsy because there was nothing in Jenny's blood or any head trauma that indicated a reason for a seizure.

To prepare for Tuesday's tests, Jenny had to be awake from midnight until her appointment at 9:30 a.m.

Jenny, though, had a plan for not closing her eyes.

"Eat popcorn and watch movies," she said.

The 4-year-old doesn't recall much about Thursday night on her own. Paramedics told Jody that Jenny was unresponsive while being flown from the West Haven Baptist Church parking lot to Children's Mercy.

Jenny has some ideas of what really happened, and she talks about taking an airplane ride and blacking out after one of her brother's friends threw up in her hair.

Jenny actually threw up during the episode, and now she doesn't like to be by herself because she's afraid she'll throw up again.

Whatever actually happened might be a mystery for some time.

"They say we may never know what caused it," her mother said.

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