Funeral held for Calgary toddler who died in botched 911 dispatch
Mourners gathered Monday afternoon at a Calgary church for the funeral of 18-month-old Elijah Luck, who died last week during a faulty 911 dispatch.
About 250 people attended the tear-filled service at the Royal Oak Victory Church in the city's northwest.
Rev. Dave Meyers said while Elijah only lived for about 540 days, he left behind powerful messages of endurance, for overcoming medical difficulties after being born two months premature, and joy. He said Elijah brightened the lives of everyone he met.
Elijah was found unconscious and not breathing last Tuesday night. A family member tried to call 911 using the home's voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) phone service, but the service provider, Comwave, did not patch the call through to Calgary's emergency centre.
Instead, an ambulance was dispatched to the Luck family's former home in Mississauga, Ont., the last address the company had on file. The family said they waited for more than half an hour before they used a neighbour's land line to call 911 again, and an ambulance arrived less than six minutes later. Elijah Luck died at the Alberta Children's Hospital.
Sylvia Luck, the boy's aunt, said Elijah had the heart of a fighter.
"He came through all the problems that he had in his life from the day he was born," she said.
She told CBC News that the family is coping as well as they can.
"We miss him very much. We really miss him so much," she said. "But it's only God giving us the strength and the grace to carry on. God has always been by our side, and our family's been by our side. Our church has been such a strength, I tell you.
"The people, they are so awesome, they have always been there for us and they are here with us still today."
Many people came forward to help the family cover the funeral costs. The family said they will donate the remaining money to the Alberta Children's Hospital.
Both the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and internet service provider Comwave are investigating the way the family's emergency call was handled.