Officer earns special place in one mom's heart;
Two days before he died, Shawn Silvera helped a young boy fighting for his life.Jim Adams; Staff Writer
One Lino Lakes family grieving Shawn Silvera's death had only met him two days before he died.
The blond officer with clear blue eyes was the first to arrive after Christine and Vance McVey called 911 on a Sunday evening. Their 3-year-old son, Elliott, was vomiting a lot of blood after recently having his tonsils removed.
Silvera "took charge and kept saying 'It'll be all right,' " Chris McVey said. "He put an oxygen mask on our son and had a wonderful presence about him. He calmed us and was so personable with each of us. You could tell that he really cared about kids."
When Silvera saw how much blood the boy was losing, he checked how soon the ambulance would arrive and was ready to call for an airlift if it didn't come within minutes, McVey said.
"You could tell he was the leader and directing how things would go to get my kid where he needed to be to be safe," she said. "He kept me from panicking."
The ambulance whisked her son to Children's Hospital in St. Paul, where a surgeon stopped the bleeding and Elliott came home fine, McVey said. She wanted to thank the officer but realized she didn't get his name. When she called Lino Lakes police Friday, a woman checked and said it was Silvera, who had been killed by a fleeing driver.
"I felt absolute sadness," McVey said. "I felt I had missed an opportunity to thank a good human being for helping us out. I wanted my son to thank him in person. But I will tell him about Officer Silvera. He is an example of what a good person is, of helping others."