Miracle Moments Miracle Moments Of Personal Growth
An Early Christmas  

USAN MCCOY WILL NEVER FORGET the time she gave an unexpected, early Christmas present to the parents of a toddler—his life.

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.”

PullquoteSusan 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 coughed up.

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.

Francine Francis
CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System
Texarkana, Texas