Normally he would sleep over at his girlfriend’s house. The night before his father died, something told him to come home.
On March 20, at 4:30 a.m. Kyle Jackowski was jolted awake by screams echoing throughout his parent’s Long Island home. It was his mother, Sally.
Bursting into the room, he found his father, Chris, sitting up on the bed, both feet on the floor, breathing rapidly, heavily, trying to catch his breath, delirious from fever hallucinations. Sally was frantically trying to figure out what was wrong with her husband.
“I jumped up out of a sound sleep and ran into the room, and he was hallucinating so bad that I thought he was having a stroke,” Kyle said. “He was just mumbling, and I was asking him what was wrong. He was just looking right through me.”
At first, Kyle and his mother tried getting Chris up to take him to the hospital, but his intense delirium and deteriorating condition made it impossible to get him out of the room safely. It was then that Kyle decided to call 911. But before he could rush downstairs and grab the phone, he heard a loud thud from the bathroom. Sally, overwhelmed by the situation, had fainted.
“I actually shouldered the door open. My mom was passed out on the bathroom floor. I got her on the bed, and that’s when I ran into my brother’s room,” said Kyle. “I woke him up and told him about everything that was going on. And he came, and he helped me.”
Kyle’s brother, Travis, tended to his father and mother while Kyle ran downstairs to call 911. Kyle instinctually poured a glass of orange juice for his mother, associating her fainting with her blood sugar being low.
“I ran back upstairs and told my dad that I called 911,” said Kyle. “He gained composure back for all of five seconds, and he looked at me and said, ‘Why’d you do that?’ Then all of a sudden, he went into a trance.”
Kyle was trying to get through to his father: “Dad! Dad, what’s wrong?”
But Chris couldn’t answer; he couldn’t breathe.
From downstairs, Kyle could hear the 911 dispatch call in real time from his father’s volunteer firefighter radio in the living room. “Member in distress,” said the voice over the radio repeatedly.
Paramedics arrived at the scene, getting Chris onto a stretcher, and proceeded down the stairs of the two-story home. They were halfway down when they started yelling that Chris was going into cardiac arrest. Quickly, they moved out of the front door, but one of them lost their footing when exiting the house, causing the stretcher to tip over.