Valley News -

By Tony Ault
Staff Writer 

San Jacinto boy miraculously saved from drowning still needs help


Last updated 8/2/2019 at 12:29am

A story of the miraculous recovery from death of a little boy named Ford Velasquez from San Jacinto recently unfolded in the Hemet and San Jacinto Valley during a local car wash fundraiser and on Facebook.

The story about the now 3-year old boy, according to his mother Sabrina Velasquez’s report on the Facebook site “Operation Restoration. A new life for Ford,” gave a description of what had happened to her child.

Briefly, she explained that Ford was swimming with his four other brothers and sisters at a community pool, May 29. One of her children had to use the restroom so she asked a friend to keep an eye on Ford as she stepped away for a few minutes. When she returned, she saw Ford floating face down in the pool. She jumped in and pulled the turning blue and almost lifeless little boy out of the pool. She began CPR and screamed for someone to call 911.

She said the “God sent’” first responders arrived quickly, got some breath signs and loaded him aboard an ambulance to speed him and her to the hospital. At the hospital, exhibiting very labored breaths, doctors worked to keep him breathing, but he went into cardiac arrest and flatlined. Doctors got his pulse back three times in the next 90 minutes, but was left with anoxic brain injury, that would leave him unable to walk, talk or move his limbs.

This condition is considered by doctors to be a “vegetative quadriplegic.”

The doctors were about to pronounce him dead when an unknown nurse stepped in to check Ford’s pulse and pleaded with doctors to check Ford’s pulse one more time. She felt a faint pulse and soon Ford’s heartbeat began to stabilize. With that, the doctors granted his move to the ICU.

Velasquez said, “Ford had God on his side and was showing us and the medical profession the equivalent to a ‘Not today Satan’ moment. He was barely stabilized but enough to be life-flighted down to Rady Children’s Hospital where he and my husband and I and our four other children would spend the next four months.

“He spent eight weeks on life support in the ICU and another eight weeks in rehab – he has made remarkable progress but is still completely dependent on someone else,” she said.

During this time, word got out from local radio station The VINE 102.5, the South West Inland Empire Towns’ the SWIET Spot and members of the Hemet-San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce who arranged with the owners of Quick Quack Car Wash to hold a fundraiser for Ford June 1.

Hundreds turned out that day to show their support for Ford and his family.

During that event, the radio station reported that a woman asked when the Velasquez family would be arriving with Ford who was to attend. When they did, the woman made a beeline to the family and to Ford who had just been helped out of the car.

It turned out that she was the nurse who had argued with the doctors thinking to declare the little boy dead, asking them to take his pulse one more time. The parents watched as the nurse approached, Ford turned his head toward the woman as if he recognized her, they said, and tried to talk to her. Until now, Sabrina and Frank Velasquez had been able to find everyone who helped Ford the day of the accident except for the nurse who appeared that day.

The car wash fundraiser brought in $3,800 to help Ford get a stem cell transplant recommended by the doctors. Ford continues to recover, but Ford is still dependent on others for care.

On their Facebook page, the Velasquez family said, “We need your prayers. We have seen miracles large and small come about by and through them. You can find me on Facebook if you search Sabrina Leiferman Velasquez – or also ‘A New life for Ford Fundraising’ page – we know one day we’ll have our son back, but it’s going to take so many prayers, great faith and a huge amount of fundraising because insurance won’t cover any of the life-saving therapies we know will help Ford.

“We have up to $150,000 to raise just for therapies to take place in the next eight months – we also know where God guides, he provides, and he’s brought you all now to our army. So welcome. Please stick around – I promise you’ll fall in love with our little boy and his lion heart and his fight and determination to overcome and be a mighty soldier in God’s army. He is the very definition of ‘Built Ford Tough’ …With gratitude, love and prayers for you all. We welcome you to our army,” Frank and Sabrina Velasquez said.

Tony Ault can be reached by email at [email protected]


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