Tragic outcome averted: Lee deputy helps save choking infant
The mother of a new baby experienced some frantic moments when she realized her infant daughter was choking.
What could have had a tragic outcome, however, was averted by the quick actions of a nearby Lee County Sheriff’s Office school resource officer.
Jennifer Howard was dropping off her older daughter Savannah, 7, at Three Oaks Elementary School on Cypress View Drive in Fort Myers on the morning of Sept. 9 when her five-month-old baby girl, strapped in a car seat in the rear of the Howard's SUV, began choking on phlegm.
"Savannah had said 'mommy, sissy isn't breathing'," Howard told WGCU Public Media. "As soon as she said that she pulled her sister out of the car seat and started patting her back while I pulled over. I jumped out and grabbed Cheyanne ... and continued to pat her back while asking for help."
That's when Lee County Sheriff's Office Deputy Bill Weaver, the school resource officer, heard Howard's cries and ran over to render aid.
"(Weaver) took her from me and started doing back thrusts that helped clear her airways," Howard said. "As soon as she took a deep breath she smiled as if to say 'Thank you'."
She said the school staff and Weaver took great care of her and the two girls while they sat in the office to make sure Cheyanne was ok.
"They are amazing," Howard said. "Cheyanne is doing great now! Happy and healthy."
Surveillance video at the school captured the moments as the woman exited her SUV, grabbed her infant daughter and started trying to help her, with light taps on the baby’s back.
The video shows the deputy gathering up the child from the visibly distraught mother and beginning efforts to save the baby.
Weaver’s actions worked and Cheyanne stopped choking and resumed breathing. As a precaution, the child was taken to a hospital, the Sheriff's Office confirmed.
Howard’s mother, Debbie Davis-Cowley, posted her appreciation on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page that displayed the video of Weaver’s help: “Thank you Deputy Weaver!! This was my daughter and her new baby. I cant thank you enough!”
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