Watch above: Imagine almost losing your life and having a stranger come to your rescue. It’s the story of an Edmonton family who, nearly 20 years later, is finally meeting its hero. Vinesh Pratap was there.
EDMONTON – When Kaitlyn Mason was just 18 months old, an Edmonton police officer saved her life. And last Monday, nearly 20 years later, the pair finally had a chance to reunite face-to-face.
Kidnapped boy, Edmonton police officer who saved him reunite after 26 years
“I never got the chance to thank him, because I was one. So I thought it would be a good time to finally meet him in person and thank him for all he did that day,” said Kaitlyn, who is now 20 years old.
The day was November 18, 1995. Don and Leah Mason were out for a family drive in the area of 118 Avenue and 82 Street when their daughter Kaitlyn, who was in the back seat, began to choke.
“My wife was hollering that we need help with Kaitlyn,” Don recalled.
The couple pulled over the car and that’s when then-Constable Ed McIsaac, who was in the area responding to a call, came to the young girl’s aid.
“I remember how small Kaitlyn was,” said McIsaac. “Her lips were blue, her eyes were rolling back and she wasn’t breathing.”
Kaitlyn was choking on a quarter.
“Ed came over and he grabbed a hold of Kaitlyn and he started performing CPR,” added Don, holding back tears as he remembered the frightening ordeal.
“He flipped her around and he tried everything. And all of a sudden, Kaitlyn coughed up and started breathing. And it was just a big sigh of relief.”
After making sure Kaitlyn was okay, McIsaac left the scene, but he stopped by the Mason household later that evening to give the toddler a stuffed teddy bear.
“I was pretty hard on her, trying to get the quarter out of her throat, so I went back in a calm setting. We had a good discussion with Don and Leah and actually, Kaitlyn was on my knee for a while there and it was a good experience.”
Constable Ed McIsaac gives Kaitlyn Mason a stuffed teddy bear the day he saved her from choking on a quarter.
After that, the two sides parted and didn’t see each other again. That was, until earlier this month when the Mason family reached out to McIsaac, who is now an Inspector with the EPS.
“It was a surprise getting a phone call after 18 years. It was a nice phone call to get. And then finally being able to meet up with Kaitlyn and family again was an unbelievable experience,” McIsaac said Thursday, as the pair reunited once again at Edmonton Police headquarters.
The 28-year EPS veteran says being able to reconnect with Kaitlyn and her family after all these years is something he’ll never forget.
“It’s a highlight of my career.”
Kaitlyn, who still has the teddy bear McIsaac gave her all those years ago, says she’s wanted to meet the man who saved her life for a few years now, but says turning 20 solidified the idea.
“I just really want to think back on my life and what made me me. And he definitely plays a big part in that… he’s an amazing person.”
At the time of the incident, McIsaac had been with the EPS for 10 years, but it was the first time he performed CPR.
With files from Vinesh Pratap, Global News.