Southfield EMS response time was slow says mom of deceased boy - FOX 13 News

Southfield EMS response time was slow says mom of deceased boy

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- Danielle Joe's ten-year-old son, Xavier (pictured above with Kem), died after an asthma attack. She said she called 911, but it took too long.

"I can't breathe. Where's the EMS?" Joe said as she recounted her son's last words Sunday.

The asthmatic had almost everything to get through an attack at home, but this time it was different. Nothing seemed to work.

"He called me back into the room and said, 'It's not working,'" Joe said. "I called EMS."

Joe got her neighbors involved. Xavier and his mom needed help. She called 911. She said she was transferred from Oak Park dispatch to Southfield. She explained she was put on hold and told "they couldn't find the EMS for my son."

Joe said more time passed and it felt like an hour. Fire officials said every minute must feel like eternity for family, but they have their own timeline.

Regardless of how many minutes passed, she had to do something. They ran outside with Xavier. A neighbor was ready to drive them to the hospital, but then he passed out. Neighbors laid him down to get CPR.

  Danielle Joe
Danielle Joe feels EMS response time was slow.
(Credit: WJBK)

"She just got on the floor and she just kept doing CPR. It was a very, very, very long time," said Joe.

The Southfield Fire Department released this statement to Fox 2. "To the family, please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss... Our thoughts and prayers and with you and your loved ones during this difficult time. The facts of this incident are under review."

Late Tuesday afternoon, the Southfield Fire Chief told Fox 2 that at the same time that Xavier's call came in that night, there was also a major fire happening with one adult and four kids possibly trapped inside of a burning house. Many of their resources were diverted there.

"I would have wished that the EMS would have came because my baby was begging for them to come," Joe said.

Xavier wasn't only special to his family, he was special to the community. R&B artist Kem was doing a benefit for the homeless. Xavier decided to donate his allowance money to the cause.

If you would to help Xavier's family, a benefit will be held at the Opyum Lounge on Thursday, September 27 from 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. The Opyum is located at 24587 Eight Mile Road in Detroit. There is a $10 charge at the door.

By: Roop Raj

Roop Raj is a weekend anchor and reporter for Fox 2 News.  You can email him at

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