Firefighters in San Francisco used Narcan to save the life of a 10-month-old baby who was exposed to fentanyl at a playground, the baby’s father said this week.
Ivan Matkovic said his infant son Senna and his twin brother Antun were playing at San Francisco’s Moscone Park on Tuesday when their nanny noticed Senna was beginning to lose consciousness, according to NBC Bay Area.
“So, I shake him and I’m like ‘something’s wrong.' I saw his face and he was, like, dizzy. I thought he was not breathing," Wendy Marroqui, the family’s nanny, said. Marroqui began applying CPR and called 911.
Ivan Matkovic came to the park from work and saw paramedics helping his son breathe. He then saw a paramedic administer Narcan, which reverses the effects of a drug overdose long enough to transport someone to the hospital for medical care.
Reportedly, Matkovic said that exposure to drugs wasn’t on his mind and that he was grateful the first responders recognized the signs.
“You know those first responders just saved my son’s life. We’re just so lucky that we got the guy we got," he said. Police are unaware how the baby came into contact with fentanyl. Firefighters transported the infant to the hospital and he survived.
On the social media platform Nextdoor, Matkovic reportedly wrote that his son “barely survived” and that his kids usually play in a grassy area with the nanny.
"Baby nearly dies after ingesting fentanyl found at local playground." this should be the top story on every SF/Bay Area media outlet. so far, nothing. pic.twitter.com/kqEzSThdb4— Erica Sandberg 舊金山的神奇女俠 (@EricaJSandberg) November 30, 2022
San Francisco resident Michael Halpern reportedly saw the incident unfold from his office.
"My office is right there. We saw paramedics and people and the stretchers going on. Then the mommies over there with the babies and the nannies and people in distress," Halpern told ABC 7 News.
On Wednesday, park goers told Kron4 that it’s “not unusual” to see people doing drugs in the park.
“It’s so scary and frightening. It’s supposed to be a safe part of the city,” one of the visitors, Clara Lane, told the outlet.
Parent Kirsten Chalfant told ABC 7 News that “it worries me that he [my child] is going to pick up something like that,” and that “at this age you shouldn’t worry about your kid consuming something like fentanyl.”
Hillary Ronen, a San Francisco Supervisor, called the incident a “tipping point.”
This incident should be a tipping point. The first time a baby died it should have been a tipping point. I am truly horrified by this.— Hillary Ronen (@HillaryRonen) December 1, 2022
I agree with the dad; “ it feels like it needs that kind of COVID-like attention, and it doesn’t seem like it’s getting that,” he said. https://t.co/07a7rfHY5g
San Francisco Supervisor Catherine Stefani told Kron4 that the city’s drug crisis is “out of control and it’s affecting all corners of our city.”
“It’s absolutely unacceptable that children can’t safely play in our parks because traces of fentanyl or drug paraphernalia are present. Hopefully this will serve as a wake up call to those who are content with our status quo,” Stefani said in a statement, adding that she feels grateful that first responders saved the baby’s life.
The San Francisco Police Department confirmed that they are investigating the incident. The fire department issued a statement that it “responded to Moscone Park for a pediatric patient in cardiac arrest.”
"It's horrible. It makes me just reconsider staying in San Francisco and if we should move," another parent, Alexis St. George, told ABC 7.
In September, a poll released by the San Francisco Chronicle found that roughly one-third of residents surveyed said they are likely to leave the city within the next three years. Sixty-five percent said that “life in the city is worse than when they first moved here.” On top of that, less than a quarter of respondents said they expected life to improve in the next two years. Thirty-five percent said it would worsen.
People between the ages of 25 and 29 left the city in droves between April 2020 and July 2021, it added.
Jason McDaniel, an associate professor of political science at San Francisco State University, said in the Chronicle’s write-up that if “deeply progressive officials” in the city would work with their more moderate peers “more than they do” to fix the problems impacting the city, more residents would stay.