OCEANSIDE, Calif. — It was an emotional reunion for local first responders and a 10-year-old boy who was once their patient.

Earlier this summer, Declan Henson crashed his bicycle a block down the street from his Camp Pendleton home. His handlebars struck his abdomen and punctured a main artery that supplies blood to the liver. 

A crew with the Camp Pendleton Fire Department was first on the scene. Due to the nature of his injuries, they called for backup.

A Mercy Air 5 flight crew at the Oceanside-area dispatch was called in to assist. They transferred the critically injured boy to Rady Children’s Hospital.

“I’ll never forget my first assessment of Declan, and thinking ‘he’s in trouble,’ and we need to move fast,” said Mercy Air flight nurse Amy Marquez.

Along the way, the flight crew provided CPR and provided a rapid infusion of blood products. Luckily for Declan, Mercy Air is the only community-based emergency medical services provider in the area with the ability to carry and administer blood products before patients can reach life-saving services at a hospital.

Declan and his family were able to personally thank the team Wednesday at the Mercy Air station in Oceanside. The boys father, Chris Henson, displayed great emotion while expressing how thankful he was for their efforts.

“If you don’t believe in a higher power, you’ll definitely question it after hearing Declan’s story. He is a walking miracle,” said Chris.

North County boy reunites with first-responders
North County boy reunites with first-responders who helped save his life. (Courtesy of Air Methods Corporation)

Thanks to the efforts of EMTs, the flight crew and medical professionals, Declan has made a full recovery from his injuries.

“When I see them today, I kind of feel happy and thankful,” said Declan.

The boy and his family said they find themselves talking about the incident daily. They said they are thankful for every day they continue to get to spend together.