Birthdays are a fun way to unite families and bring people together. And when they’re for little kids, they’re happy occasions. The little ones are excited about the cakes and the presents and love being with their families on their special day. Personally, I’m a fan of the sweets more than all, and the food takes a close second, especially if it is a buffet lunch. My wife loves getting balloons for the occasion. It’s not a party without balloons whether vinyl or mylar. But for the parents of 8-year-old Jaina McGloghlon birthdays will never be the same again. Instead, her final birthday will be remembered as a time of tragedy and loss. And her father will never be the same man again.
To think that her happy birthday decorations led to her downfall. After enjoying the family party, Jaina went to bed. Her father tucked her in and gave her a loving kiss goodnight. He was proud that he was able to help give her the birthday party of her dreams. But the girl was exhausted and he needed to let her sleep. And then the rest of the family went back and started cleaning up the home and putting everything back in place.
Several hours later, before he was ready to turn in for the night, Jaina’s dad went to go check on her. He looked at her peaceful form and thought she was sleeping – she was so still.
But the bed covers were covering her face and her one foot was exposed. He then pulled the covers down to cover her lone foot and off her face. And that’s when his heart stopped in terror. And he hurried to tell someone else to call 911.
Jaina’s dad found a balloon over the little girl’s head. But he did not hesitate in his horror. He removed her from bed, placed her on the floor and began performing CPR. Then he shouted for someone to call 911.
Jaina’s grandmother, Pat McGloghlon, was there that day. She remembers hearing her son shout out for someone to call 911. She made the emergency call and then began praying for their birthday girl. The happy birthday party that had happened earlier that day had taken a tragic turn.
The giant mylar balloon had been stuck on the girl’s head. Perhaps, she had tried to suck helium out of it and make her voice go all squeaky. It is unclear, because despite her father’s best efforts, she never came back.
She remained unconscious as her father performed CPR. Although she showed no signs of life, he refused to give up. Everyone in the house prayed for a miracle. But it would never come.
Paramedics arrived and took over CPR as they hurried Jaina into the ambulance.
For an hour, they did their best to bring her back from the dead. But they couldn’t. She was gone. The little girl was pronounced dead from accidental suffocation. The untimely death was horrid for the family.
The family hopes their story can protect others from their little one’s fate.