All parents expect to be awakened by their babies at some time during the night. Its part of the program when you have little ones. Most of the time, its just a minor annoyance and everyone’s back to sleep after a few minutes. That was not the case for little Celia Ruppel and her parents one night in mid-January.
Kyle and Monique Ruppel had become accustomed to their baby girl’s nighttime sleep ritual. Once, in the middle of every night, Celia would wake needing her parents’ attention. On January 15th, something was different. The little one just would not settle down for the night. After her usual late night call, the Ruppels put Celia down to sleep, only to have her wake again crying. Something was wrong.
About 3 AM Monique and Kyle woke to Celia’s crying, but this time, they could barely get out of bed. It was probably only the ingrained parental reflex to tend to their child that saved them. Celia’s parents were both dizzy, their heads hurt terribly and their eyes burned. They were suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Monique recounted the events of that night on Facebook:
“This precious little angel did something extraordinary. Something she will not fully understand until she is grown. She literally saved our lives. Celia typically wakes once per night. We always get up with her and help her back to sleep. On Friday at 3 a.m., she stirred for the second time,” Monique began.
She described how she tried to get to the baby’s room but was overcome by dizziness. When her husband woke, he was also suffering from vertigo. Their eyes hurt, they were nauseated. They gathered a few things and got little Celia out of her crib. The baby started throwing up. Monique clutched her daughter, and the family cat collapsed at her feet. Kyle passed out and came to again. They called for help and got out of the house.
Emergency responders took the family to the local Kamloops, B.C., hospital. After doctors at Royal Inland Hospital consulted the staff at Vancouver General, the family was transferred there by air. Hyperbaric specialists in Vancouver treated the Ruppels in a hyperbaric chamber. Three sessions in the pressurized environment, breathing extra oxygen, and the family was released. Doctors told Kyle the entire family would have died if Celia had slept through the night.
“So if it wasn’t for her waking up and getting our attention it could have been a lot different story. She’s pretty small and doesn’t understand what happened yet, but I’m sure one day we’ll have to explain it to her,” Kyle told interviewers.
The Rupples want to remind everyone that safety is important and that we can all do something very simple to keep our families safe.
“Please ensure you have a Carbon Monoxide detector and that it works. We are so thankful Celia woke us. We often wished she would sleep through the night but we do not feel that way anymore. Our sweet, sweet baby saved us all.”