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Bountiful family reunites with respiratory therapist four years after saving son’s life

Apr 26, 2022, 3:13 PM | Updated: Jun 10, 2022, 11:48 pm

BOUNTIFUL, UtahParents of Gabriel Grover were so grateful to reunite with the respiratory therapist who saved his life.

The family met with Tom Suarez, director of respiratory therapy at Lakeview Hospital, Monday to thank him for working on their son shortly after he was born.

After an emergency C-section in December 2017, Alissa and Clint’s son was whisked away, where Suarez quickly started lifesaving measures to get the baby to breathe.

“He just kept talking to him, saying, ‘Please baby, stay with us, breathe, you will be okay,’” Grover said. “Gabriel wasn’t making any sounds or moving at all.”

Thankfully, what healthcare workers did that day saved baby Gabriel’s life. His parents say without it, their lives would be much different today.

“It would not have been the same outcome, and I could have lost my son and my wife,” Clint Grover said.

Tom Suarez has been a respiratory therapist for 42 years. He said especially after the past two years caring for COVID patients, getting thanked in person, even years later, means so much more.

“We don’t get a lot of thanks, especially when it’s a newborn baby and you resuscitate them or have to do something to get them breathing; they’ll never know you did it,” Suarez said. “This reminds me that some of the things we do are really appreciated by people and it’s not overlooked.” 

Suarez said the family also sent him a letter before Monday’s reunion, thanking him, which he keeps in his office to remind him that the work his team does really matters.

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Bountiful family reunites with respiratory therapist four years after saving son’s life