Kegann Gideon and Josh Kennedy are being honored as “Champions of Character” for their impromptu decision that saved a baby’s life.
The incident happened at Briggs Kia in Topeka- where Gideon and Kennedy work- back in March of 2019. For the two employees, it was just another day of helping customers with their car needs when a customer’s infant daughter suddenly aspirated while nursing.
"As soon as she came in saying, 'Does anybody know CPR?', it was kind of like a natural instinct," said Kennedy. "I just hopped up real quick, ran over to see what was going on. There's the baby on the table, blue..”
Gideon, who was already there, had begun checking for a pulse. The moment she couldn’t find any, the duo knew that the baby required compression. With precision, the two employees performed CPR together to clear the baby’s airway. They were soon successful in getting the milk out of the infant’s lungs so that she could start breathing again.
Paramedics arrived at the dealership and Oakley was later taken to the hospital. She is now safe at home after a few days of hospital care. The infant had an undiagnosed heart ailment, and had gone into cardiac arrest while feeding. Any delay could have impacted her brain function, and that could have become fatal. But thanks to Gideon and Kennedy's medical intervention, the baby's life was saved.
The baby girl's parents feel fortunate that they were still at the Briggs Kia when the medical emergency occurred. Mother Courtney Gentry spoke to 13 NEWS days after the incident, saying, "I couldn't have been more thankful that we were still there, because if it had been just seconds longer, we would've been leaving."
To celebrate Good Samaritan's bravery and good deeds, awards like Champion of Character are presented. This award is offered to individuals in Topeka who demonstrate strong character traits, and respects those whose attentiveness and initiative contribute considerably towards improving the health, safety, and quality of life within the community. Recipients are recognized on the first Wednesday of the month; and this time on May 1st, 2019, Gideon and Kennedy were honored during the monthly meeting of the Safe Streets Coalition at the Great Overland Station.
Another such incident had saved the life of a 2-week child in December in Burleson. In front of Burleson’s Ross department store on December 8th, 2017 Aurora Michelle Withem chocked, and Ross Associate Lanitra Benson helped her with her CPR skills. On hearing the distressed cry of an infant when Benson reached the spot with employee Adrian, the baby was extremely red. With their promptness, sensibility, and CPR skills, they stabilized the infant's breathing. They were later honored with the Life Saving Heroism award.
CPR is a crucial skill which is compulsory for teachers, public servants, and law enforcement officers to know. But harnessing this skill can help in saving many lives. The more people who know it, the more people who are able to help others in distress.