ONTARIO – Ten months ago, 5-year-old Rowan Umphrey’s life dangled by a thread after he was seriously injured in a car accident on Oregon Highway 201 just outside of Ontario.
He was near death and revived by Oregon State Police Trooper Ashley Morcom. When he arrived by Life Flight at a Boise hospital doctors told his parents – Karlie Nutter and James Umphrey of Weiser – their son was essentially brain dead.
Yet Rowan didn’t die.
Now, Rowan goes to kindergarten and laughs and talks and does most things a little boy of 6 is prone to do.
For her efforts that day in April, Morcom received the Roy Hicks Memorial Award for law enforcement officer of the year from the Ontario Elks Club in January.
Just as Rowan has moved forward, so has Morcom. She is no longer on the road as a trooper but now a detective in Ontario.
The accident linked the Morcom and the Rowan family. In November, the family visited the state police office outside of Ontario for an agency awards ceremony for Morcom.
Morcom was happy Rowan and his family attended.
“I got to meet them all on better terms. It was pretty amazing to meet them,” said Morcom.
Morcom said Rowan was in good shape.
“He’s full of spunk and was just such a joy to be around. It was nice to see them in not such a traumatic space,” said Morcom.
Morcom was working her regular patrol duties on April 23 when she was dispatched to the scene of the accident. When she arrived, Rowan was out of a wrecked Toyota Prius but unresponsive.
“He wasn’t breathing and I couldn’t feel much pulse,” said Morcom.
Morcom began CPR, working to keep Rowan alive until a Life Flight air ambulance arrived.
Back home, Rowan improves every day, Nutter said. She said her son still has trouble with processing information.
“He’s a little behind but other than that he is doing very well,” said Nutter.
“Being able to hear the positive that came out of this is what I appreciate,” said Morcom.
Oregon State Police trooper uses training to rescue injured boy after wreck
News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]m
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