On August 20, a back-to-school event in Ward 5 Cleveland turned deadly for 6’7″ Sgt. Raymond “Ray” O’Connor. The Cleveland Police officer is severely allergic to bee stings – and he was hit by two of them. As he walked back to let the Community Engagement Officer know what happened, he collapsed. He forgot his EpiPen back at the District 4 Precinct. He thought he was going to die.
“I’ve been shot at twice, but honestly, it didn’t compare to this. I knew I was barely breathing, and it was pretty much about the end for me. And that is the most scared I’ve ever been in my life.”
No EpiPen: The Cleveland police officer knew that within seconds the venom had entered his bloodstream. He also felt that he would be dead soon without his life-saving treatment. District 4 of the Cleveland police wrote on Facebook:
On Saturday, August 20, 2022 Ward 5 Councilman Starr was hosting a “back to school” festival at Friendly Inn. Sgt. O’Connor and Officer Barnes attended the festival with high hopes to engage and interact with the youth on a positive note. While playing football with kids, Sgt. O’Connor approached Officer Barnes and advised her that he had just been stung by two bees. He further stated that he was deathly allergic to them and that he forgot his Epi Pen back at the 4th District.Within minutes, Sgt. O’Connor fell to the ground and became unconscious which turned into a life threatening emergency. While Officer Barnes (And a 3rd district officer) drug/carried her partner to the car and rendered aid, civilian Tomika Johnson quickly sprung into action and ran home to grab her 10 year old son’s (Zaire) Epi Pen. When returning on scene within seconds, Ms. Johnson voluntarily offered the Epi Pen to help Sgt. O’Connor. Officer Barnes quickly took the Epi Pen and administered it to Sgt. O’Connor before transporting him in the back of a zone car to the nearest hospital. Remaining unconscious, doctors and medical staff at St.Vincent Hospital quickly provided medical attention to Sgt. O’Connor who was later transferred to ICU for medical observation.Doctors explained to Officer Barnes that the epi pen that was provided by Ms. Johnson and quick response by all, saved his life. Ms. Johnson’s quick thinking, fast response and concern for this officers well-being demonstrated a high regard for human life.”