A Tupelo family found out recently that two fingers can save a life when applied with a little pressure and care.
Tupelo Police Staff Sgt. Buddy Irving used cardiopulmonary resuscitation last Friday to revive 2-month-old Hannah Davis, whose breathing and heart had stop.
“He saved her life,” said Hannah’s mother, Amy Davis. “I’m sure if you asked him, he would say he was just doing his job. But to us, it was much more than that.”
After spending a week in the North Mississippi Medical Center Women’s Hospital, Hannah came home Friday.
The incident started about 11:30 a.m. last Friday. Davis was preparing to give her daughter a bath when the child became cranky and started crying. So the mother decided to let her daughter nurse first.
After her feeding, Davis said she noticed her daughter’s eyes were closed.
“I thought she had fallen asleep,” Davis said.
Then, the 18-year-old mother noticed blood coming from her firstborn’s mouth. Hannah had also turned blue.
Immediately, the mother dialed 911 and started CPR.
Amy and her husband, Mark, had both taken CPR classes at the Women’s Hospital. Hannah, who weighed 2 pounds, 13 ounces when she was born 12 weeks early, had spent the first six weeks of her life in the Women’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Parents of premature children who spend time in the intensive care unit are required to take the classes before leaving the hospital with their infants, said neonatalogist Dr. Cynthia Bonner.
Accompanied by a heart monitor and special medication for her heart, Hannah had been released from the hospital April 16, 10 days before she stopped breathing.
Last Friday, as Davis was performing CPR on her daughter, Irving was en route to Belden, where a naked man had been spotted. He heard a Lee County E-911 dispatcher asking for an officer to go to Joyner Street where a child had stopped breathing.
Irving, who said he was one of the officers closest to the area, took the call.
“When I got there, the mother was doing CPR on her, but the baby was this real dark color,” Irving said.
Irving, 40, began administering the lifesaving techniques he learned in his law enforcement courses, covering both the child’s mouth and nose with his mouth and breathing air into her lungs. He also started a scaled-down version of CPR, using just two fingers to compress her chest instead of thrusting full force with both of his hands.
The 6-year-veteran of the Tupelo Police Department said he had performed CPR several times before on adults and once on a 4-year-old boy. But this was the first time he had tried the technique on someone who weighed 5 pounds, 6 ounces.
Within seconds, Hannah started breathing again. By that time, emergency personnel had arrived on the scene and took over.
“As they were carrying her out to the ambulance, her eyes opened and she began to cry,” Irving said.
Bonner said most people are probably not aware of the proper CPR techniques to use for infants and children. Considering Irving does not use the two-finger method on a regular basis, Bonner said he did surprisingly well.
“Even when you have classes on a subject, people tend to forget when they do not have occasions to use it regularly,” she said.
Bonner said the situation could have been a lot worse, even fatal. The survival rate for infants and children whose breathing and heart stop are poor, she said.
The now 9-week-old, dark-brown-haired, brown-eyed infant is alert and doing fine.
“She’s looking around and smiling and just being herself,” Amy Davis said.
The mother said she is just happy to have her daughter home again.