'A shock': Parent speaks after 10-month-old survives fentanyl overdose at SF park

Baby Senna was discharged after six hours in the hospital for an "accidental fentanyl overdose."

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Friday, December 2, 2022
Parent speaks after baby's fentanyl overdose at SF park
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We're hearing from the parent of the 10-month-old boy that accidentally ingested fentanyl and overdosed at San Francisco's Moscone Park.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- We are hearing from the parent of the 10-month-old boy that ingested fentanyl at a popular park in San Francisco's Marina District.

The dad told ABC7 News reporter Luz Pena he thought he was going to lose his baby. On Thursday, he is thanking first responders for their quick response.

It's the frightening phone call Ivan Matkovic is still playing in his mind. His 10-month-old son Senna, was turning blue and struggling to breathe. Minutes earlier, he was playing in the grass with his twin brother at Moscone Park in San Francisco.

PREVIOUS VIDEO: Parent says 10-month-old barely survived ingesting fentanyl at popular SF park

A parent says his 10-month-old child barely survived ingesting fentanyl at popular San Francisco's Moscone Park.

"When I first arrived, he was actually lying motionless on the ground in the park. He was on the grass on his back. They were pumping air. There was a mask with some apparatus and you are just like, what could causes this? It's a shock," said Matkovic.

San Francisco firefighters and paramedics arrived on scene within two minutes of the nanny's 911 call. Ivan felt helpless hoping his son would survive.

"You thought you were going to lose him? Yeah, of course. I think it was only once they put him in the emergency vehicle and transferred him that you felt like, okay there is a possibility for treatment. But when he is lying there motionless, you don't know what to do and you don't know if that is it," said Matkovic.

Medical records the family provided to ABC7 News point to an "accidental fentanyl overdose," a diagnosis that never crossed their mind.

"They told me after the fact that they had used Narcan, because based on their experience and their training they suspected opioids. I was just like, how does a 10-month-old get into opioids at a playground at a park?" said Matkovic.

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It is still unclear how 10-month-old Senna ingested fentanyl. Now, his family is warning other parents to be on high alert for foil or powder in the grass.

"The way my family is looking at this, is what we can do to help parents be aware and be careful and take proper steps. You hope that city officials and the experts do the right thing. At the end of the day, change is slow," said Matkovic.

We contacted the mayor's office and she was unavailable for an interview. Supervisor Matt Dorsey called this incident another wake up call for the city.

"Fentanyl is responsible for 75% of the drug overdose deaths," said Supervisor Dorsey.

Luz Pena: "How do we avoid this from happening again?"

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Supervisor Dorsey: "I think it has to start with criminal justice and I think we have to go after the drug dealers. We have to incentivize people who are active in their addictions to get out of their addictions."

Baby Senna was discharged after six hours in the hospital. "The fentanyl should be out of his system," said the medical record. Now the family is thanking first responders for saving his life.

"The paramedics and team did a fantastic job," said Matkovic, "Just how talented those folks are and what they can do for you in a moment of need. There is really good people out there."

Matkovic said they are not planning to leave the city. The total opposite.

"We love the city, we love living here. We love the people. So for us, we do intend on staying as long as we can," said Matkovic, "We are here to participate in that change. Hopefully if I can contribute in any way towards that I definitely will."

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