Baby playing in park overdoses on fentanyl, father says

Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 4:16 AM CST
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SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) - A father whose 10-month-old boy ingested fentanyl at a popular park in San Francisco’s Marina District is speaking out and 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.

“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,” Ivan Matkovic said.

San Francisco firefighters and paramedics arrived on scene within two minutes of the nanny calling 911.

Matkovic said he felt helpless, hoping his son would survive.

“I think it was only once they put him in the emergency vehicle and transferred him that you felt like, ‘OK, 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,” he said.

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

“They told me after the fact that they had used Narcan. I was just like, ‘How does a 10-month-old get into opioids at a playground at a park?’” Matkovic said.

Right around a bench is where the incident happened. It’s still unclear how Senna ingested fentanyl, but now his family is speaking to alert other parents to be on high alert of any foil or powder in the grass.

The mayor’s office said she was unavailable for an interview.

Supervisor Matt Dorsey called the incident another wakeup call for the city.

“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,” he said.

Baby Senna was discharged after six hours in the hospital.

His parents are thanking first responders for saving his life and, no, they are not planning to leave the city.

“We love the city. We love living here. We are here to participate in that change,” Matkovic said.