It was a birthday celebration one 8-year-old boy almost didn’t have.
Thursday at the Capitol Heights Fire Station, Dah’mari Jenkins celebrated his eighth birthday with the firefighters and medics who saved his life just six days earlier. Last Friday, Dah’mari and his cousin were playing in the backseat of their car in Seat Pleasant when the 8-year-old cousin accidentally stabbed Dah’mari with a surgeon’s scalpel they found in the car. The scalpel — believed to have been left behind by a thief who stole the car earlier this year — severed the Dah’Mari’s femoral artery, causing him to bleed out rapidly.
“It looked like a crime scene,” Seat Pleasant Police Sgt. Aaron Foster said. “There was blood everywhere.”
By the time emergency services personnel arrived at the scene, Dah’mari was unconscious. He had lost almost all of his blood and was suffering from hemorrhagic shock. But the medics acted quickly, helping him survive while taking him to Children’s National Medical Center. They also contacted the hospital so staff would be ready for Dah’mari’s critical condition as soon as the ambulance arrived.
At the same time, Seat Pleasant police escorted the ambulance and made sure Dah’Mari’s family got to the hospital, saving several crucial minutes. The time between the 911 dispatch and Dah’Mari’s hospital arrival was only 22 minutes.
Dah’mari was released from the hospital Sunday evening, something Prince George’s County Fire Spokesperson Mark Brady called “nothing short of a miracle.”
When one of the medics called to follow up on Dah’mari’s condition, he learned it was the little boy’s birthday Thursday. What’s more, Dah’mari asked if he could spend it with the men and women who saved his life.
“It’s very heartwarming,” said Dah’Mari’s mother, Brittney Jenkins. “He wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them. It truly is a blessing.”
At the fire station celebration, attendees had cake and presents, like most birthday parties. But there was also a special ceremony where Dah’mari shook hands with all the firefighters, police officers and medics who were the reason Dah’mari was alive to celebrate.
When asked what he wanted to tell his rescuers, Dah’mari had two simple words: “Thank you.” His survival and almost unbelievable recovery seemed to affect everyone in the room.
“It’s hard to put into words,” Sgt. Foster said. “I’m just happy to see him today.”