By Warren Bolton
The routine can quickly turn into an unexpected emergency.
Ann Gordon, a newborn home visit nurse, knows all too well.
Recently, Ann was visiting a home in Cherokee County to check on the health and well-being of a mother and her infant. It’s the kind of stop Ann has made many times over the years. Working part-time these days, she still visits three or four homes a day at least twice a week.
During this particular visit, Ann was talking with the family when she noticed the mother had a strange look on her face as she held her baby.
“Mom was standing there and she was just looking funny. I said, ‘What’s wrong?'”
Ann took the baby and, after a brief check, determined the child was not breathing and didn’t have a heartbeat.
The routine visit immediately became a life-saving effort.
Ann quickly began administering CPR and told the mother to call 911. With the baby on her lap, Ann worked urgently to revive the child. “I just kept doing CPR,” she said.
Firefighters soon arrived and one of them began to assist Ann.
“Finally the baby started breathing on its own,” she said.
At that moment, EMS personnel arrived. The infant was transported by helicopter to Greenville Memorial Hospital. The child’s heart stopped two more times.
Ann said she would later learn from the mom that the child, who was premature by eight weeks, was diagnosed as having had a stroke and seizures. The infant was hospitalized for two weeks, but is now at home.
“That was the scariest day of my life, and I’ve been at the health department for 44 years,” Ann said.
It also was a heroic day. Thank you, Ann. Your quick actions saved a child’s life.