Monday, November 7, 2011

Sentimental Sunday The Hero Helped Save His Granddaughter

I was thinking of my granddaughter, Iris, while driving and a story came to mind.  
When Iris was about 18 months old, she was an adventuresome child. (maybe her mom will drop by and correct any information I may remember incorrectly. It was a highly emotional time.) Her mom put everything up as high as she could because Iris liked to climb.  
One early evening, I received a call from Iris's mom who was clearly upset.  She said Iris had climbed, using the dresser drawers, to get to the top of a high shelf where she had put the cleaning products and had apparently gotten some rust remover called Whink on her hands.  She wasn't sure if she had gotten any in her mouth.  What should she do?  The only thing I could think of was call 911.  

The Hero came in asking what was going on.  I told him and we pulled down my bottle of Whink to see what was the active ingredient in it that removed rust. It was Hydrofluoric Acid (Hydrogen Fluoride).  I will digress here a minute to fill you in on the Hero's background.  When he worked for the building materials company, he was in charge of safety and making sure the OSHA rules were followed. He held regular safety meeting, and kept a MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) on each product they sold, even the cements.  When he heard Hydrofluoric Acid, he thought it sounded familiar but couldn't remember.  
We took our daughter over to watch the other children, while we took the mom and Iris into the Emergency Room. They had said bring her in. Redbeard was meeting us at the hospital.  While we were waiting, some red spots appeared on her arms and thighs, then disappeared.  The wait continued. She wasn't sick, but the worrisome reds spots would come and go. An hour later, Redbeard got them to at least let the physician's assistant see her while we waited.  
Our faith believes in laying on of hands.  While we sat in the back room, still waiting, the Hero and Redbeard gave Iris a blessing, that said among other things, "that her caretaker would know what to do."  A few minutes later, the PA came back in, examined her and said she didn't see any challenges, and to give her Benedryl for the apparent red rashes and sent us home. 
The Hero was upset, but it wasn't his call, so we all loaded up in the cars and left for home.  As we were driving, the Hero slapped the steering wheel and said "I remember what Hydrofluoric Acid is!  We had it for a cleaning fluid out on a job, and it was so caustic that the men had to dress in spaceman suits when cleaning with it.  I need to see a MSDS on it, something is not right!"
When we arrived at home, he immediately got on the computer and looked at the MSDS online.  Oh, wow!  It was an awful chemical.  He found the emergency medical service number, an 800 number, and called Redbeard and told him to call.  
Later Redbeard called us back and said it was a poison control center in Denver. They were the only ones with the treatment information on the product.  The Benedryl was the wrong thing to give her.  The red splotches was the chemical moving through her body.  It was like an internal burn. He was told to give her tums, and to make pastes of the tums and apply it where the splotches had been.  
The next day my daughter took her into see the pediatrician.  The Doctor had never heard of Whink, or the treatment.  Later we found she had talked with her friend in chemical who confirmed what we had found.  She said she couldn't believe they never taught about that when she was in school. 
In the end, all was well.  In truth, Iris's caretakers found what to do.  Her granddadE loved his "Copper Top" so much.  He loved being around her and watching her never ending energy.  I wanted her to know that he was always there for her.  


  1. This story took my breath away! Touching, sad, happy, scary, wonderful!

  2. Fabulous story! A Hero in so many ways.

  3. Even thou the story was scary, it is a blessing you had a hero and God watching over everything.

  4. Carol, Greta, and Betty thank you for reading and commenting. It was on the scary side and we were even baffled at first as to what was happening. I can only say I was and am very thankful for my Hero.