USAN MCCOY WILL NEVER FORGET the time she
gave an unexpected, early Christmas present to the parents of a
Susan, a registered nurse who works for the CHRISTUS St. Michael
Health System, and a friend were shopping at an arts and crafts
store when they heard a terrible scream. Thinking it sounded like
a child who might be lost and looking for his or her mother, Susan
went to investigate.
She encountered a young mother running through the store, carrying
a child in her arms. Her 15-month-old boy had stopped breathing.
“She ran past me and I shouted, ‘Let me have the baby,’”
Susan recalled. “She just kept running until she heard my
friend tell her that I was a nurse.”
asked the questions she had been taught in nursing school as she
cleared one of the check-out counters and automatically began to
administer back blows on the child. A woman approached them, said
she knew CPR and started to perform a mouth sweep, but Susan stopped
her, remembering that the procedure could not safely be performed
on a baby. The toddler’s father walked up and grabbed the
baby from Susan, but she quickly retrieved the child and resumed
back blows. This time, it worked as a small bit of granola bar was
The toddler was now breathing again, and Susan was extremely relieved
to see an ambulance arrive and paramedics rush in to take over care
of the baby. A recent nursing school graduate, Susan wasn’t sure
until that day just how well she would react in an emergency situation,
with the outcome resting completely on her shoulders. She feels
more confident now that she realizes her skills and training helped
prevent a tragedy.
After her “shopping” experience, Susan returned to her
car, filled with emotion and shaking from head to toe. All she could
think about was the baby’s mother and how she must have felt.
Susan never learned the name of the little boy or his parents. And
to this day, she is still the stranger who saved their child. But
the Christmas gift she gave that year was priceless.
CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System