Ryan Murphy Shares His Real-Life Family Emergency That Inspired '9-1-1'

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A real-life family emergency inspired Ryan Murphy to create his new Fox show, 9-1-1.

The brains behind the American Horror Story and American Crime Story franchises revealed that he and his husband, photographer David Miller, experienced a trying incident involving his youngest son, which was the impetus for the drama centered on cops, firefighters and first responders.

“My son Ford was 11 months old [at the time], and in the middle of the night, stopped breathing,” Murphy, 52, said at Fox’s winter Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday. “We called 9-1-1, and obviously, we were in a panic and doing CPR. They showed up and at two in the morning, there were four responders. They were incredibly calm and nurturing, and they brought him back to life.”

“One of them forced me to leave the room to get the situation under control, which is not a shock to anybody who knows me,” he said with a chuckle.

Understandably distraught over his child’s well-being, Murphy shared that the first responders only allowed one parent, Miller, to be with Ford as they transported him to the hospital. “Three of the officers and responders stayed to get a report from me, so I had an experience of sitting with them and talking to them,” Murphy recalled, “and they really talked me off a ledge.”

Through the terrifying experience, Murphy noted that doctors discovered that his son had a genetic blockage that they were able to fix. And thankfully, his son, now three years old, is doing fine.

“My interest in this show came from a very life-or-death situation for my son,” he emphasized, reiterating that if the paramedics hadn’t shown up, his son “would have died.” “I’d really been interested in the lives of [first responders] and how they are forced to show up to be the balance in stressful situations.”

9-1-1 reinvents the TV procedural, exploring the worlds that Detective Athena Grant (Angela Bassett), Fire Captain Bobby Nash (Peter Krause) and 911 call operator Abby Clark (Connie Britton) live in as first responders in L.A.

9-1-1 airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.

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