Mom: School wouldn't call 911 after son suffers bug bite

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville mother is outraged after she said her son suffered what could have been a life-threatening bug bite during a school field trip and his school refused to call 911.

Misty Tressler said it happened Tuesday while she was a parent chaperone during a trip to the zoo. She said she didn't realize how bad it was until after they got back to Merrill Road Elementary School in Arlington.

Tressler said she asked school officials to call 911 but was told no.

Tressler said she's thankful her son Adam is OK after being bitten.

"I walked straight toward my son, and when I did, his foot was so swollen and his leg looked like it was about to pop," Tressler said.

She said it wasn't until they had gotten back to the boy's school when she realized how bad it actually was. Not only had his foot swollen, but he had broken out in hives all over his face, and it was hard to walk.

"My son told me he felt like he had to throw up," Tressler said. "I said, 'Baby, are you OK?' He said, 'No, mom. I'm not feeling good.' The next thing you know, his eyes went in the back of his head."

Tressler said from there, she begged school administrators to call 911, only to be told no. She said she was told it would disrupt the flow of traffic as parents lined up to pick up their children.

"'No, ma'am. It looks fine to us. We're not going to cause this chaos at school,'" Tressler said of what school officials told her. "'If you want to have the ambulance, that's your choice, but you're going to have to leave our campus. We're not having this chaos at this school.'"

Tressler said she called 911 herself and Adam was immediately rushed by ambulance to Wolfson Children's Hospital. She said the emergency medical technicians told her his injury could've been life-threatening and he should have gone sooner.

Adam recalls the ride in the truck to the hospital.

"I was like, 'I want out. I want out of this truck,'" he said. "I was too scared. But if I had went with her, I wouldn't have survived."

School officials told Channel 4 Tressler signed Adam out for the day after they got back, legally putting him in her custody. Either way, Tressler believes the school should have acted.

"I could not imagine my life without my child," Tressler said. "I was so mad at the school because my baby could have died at that school."

The Duval County School District issued this statement Thursday afternoon:

"We take very seriously the health and welfare of our students. Any student in our care requiring medical treatment will be served immediately and according to emergency operations and procedures. Even when students, accompanied by a parent, are participating in field trips, we still adhere to school-based emergency protocols and guidelines.

"At no point during the school day or outing did we notice or were alerted of a child's need for medical care. It was not until after the child had been checked out from school by a parent and was departing from the campus that we learned of the parent's interest in medical treatment. In an effort to support immediate attention and access that was restricted by cars parked in the pick-up circle, we offered support and encouraged the parent to notify the medical team to park near the school's entrance. This was only done in an effort to facilitate access and care with consideration and priority for the child's needs."

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