GALLATIN, Tenn. — In theory, Gallatin mother Amy Calhoun was prepared.
She had raised a baby before. She was CPR certified. And she did what the pediatrician told her — give 7-week-old Oliver some apple juice to help ease his constipation.
“I know what to do in these situations, but in that moment, I was just in panic mode,” Calhoun said.
On Jan. 11, Calhoun experienced pure terror before a neighbor, a stranger, her “hero,” came to the rescue.
After drinking milk and a small amount of juice, Oliver began to fuss.
His mother gently bounced him and patted his back. Then he vomited.
He started to choke. The vomit was stuck in Oliver’s nose. He couldn’t breathe.
Calhoun ran downstairs of her Villages of Gallatin town home. She laid him on the hard floor and went outside and screamed for help.
She darted to her bedroom, grabbed his aspirator bulb, and attempted to suck the vomit out of his nose.
It didn’t help him.
She screamed again for help.
He went still.
She tried CPR. She wasn’t doing it right.
She went outside and screamed again for help.
She turned around.
Oliver was blue. His eyes were open, unblinking.
“He was gone,” she said.
The next thing she knew, a stranger was there.
“I don’t even remember seeing him come in,” she said.
Marcus “Snoopy” Brewer ran to the home. Calhoun was crying. He saw the lifeless infant.
“She was just like, ‘My baby’s dead,” he said. “That’s all I remember her saying.”
Brewer, a former volunteer firefighter, told her to calm down and tell him what happened.
He picked Oliver up. Oliver’s limbs flopped.
Brewer turned him over and forcefully patted his back. He sucked the vomit out with the aspirator and performed CPR.
Calhoun prayed. She called her husband and told him to come home. He was 45 minutes away.
After what seemed like eternity, Brewer saw Oliver’s dark blue lips quiver.
And Calhoun heard Oliver cry.
“I just kept thanking God,” she said.
Oliver had been brought back to life, just before the ambulance arrived. Calhoun and her infant were transported to Sumner Regional Medical Center, where the doctors confirmed he was perfectly healthy.
The pediatrician said Oliver has acid reflux and gave them medication to remedy it.
“If it ever does happen again, I know what I need to do,” Calhoun said. “I know I need to be calm. I feel like (Brewer) was there to teach me that lesson.”
After EMS took over, Brewer, also a father, returned to his apartment, lit a cigarette, sat on his floor, and cried.
“I was thinking about my kids,” he said.
He called his children and told them how much he loved them.
He thought the incident could be a lesson, and encourages everyone to learn CPR.
“There might be one day you’ll have to use it to save a loved one or a stranger,” he said.
Now, Calhoun wants her new “forever friend” to be recognized for his action.
She submitted her story to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and is searching for more avenues to show her appreciation.
Until then, she was able to do one gesture for Brewer, when she paid for his meal at Cracker Barrel.
“In my eyes, I think the whole world needs to know who this guy is and what he did,” Calhoun said. “If it weren’t for him, my son would not be here right now.”
At such a young age, Oliver has already passed hurdles. He was born six weeks premature, but was fully developed. And now, he has been brought back to life.
As Oliver gets older, she intends to tell him his story.
Brewer, who saved lives when he served as a volunteer firefighter, doesn’t think of himself as a hero.
“I was just doing what I was trained to do,” he said.
Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com