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  • It’s a beautiful Saturday morning. We are driving. I glance in my rear view mirror asking my 5 and 7 year old children, “are either of you hungry?” In a quiet voice I can barely make, my 7 year old son says as he gasps while crying, “daddy, I am choking. Please help. I am choking.” My glance in the mirror to the far back seat becomes a panicked stare. My son’s face is dark red with tears streaming down his small soft cheeks. The seatbelt from the ceiling above the middle seat of our van is tightly wrapped multiple times around his neck. His little hands are pulling hopelessly at the belt. My son is being hanged in the back of our van.

    I pull over and frantically race to the rear of the van. I scramble to undo the belt. I cannot undo the top nor the bottom of the belt. I cannot loosen the think nylon noose around his neck. I am losing my only son. My first born is hanging and I am helpless. I have no knife, no toolbox, nothing to cut the belt whose sole purpose is to protect my loved ones. I have no time. He pleas for me to help him. He begs me to undo the belt. He is seconds from losing consciousness.

    I run into the street, distraught, yelling and waving to stop traffic. “I need a knife! Someone give me a knife! Please, I need a knife! My son is dying, he is being strangled.” Every car has stopped. Every person is searching, asking questions, attempting to assist. I am handed a knife. I cut my son free. I spend the rest of the day holding my son. Life is precious. There are no guarantees. Be prepared.
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