Video: Fla. deputy saves unresponsive baby's life
"I just wanted the world to know how great this officer is, & how GREAT GOD is," the baby's mother wrote on Facebook
By Carlos E. Medina
Ocala Star-Banner, Fla.
OCALA, Fla. — Jeremie Nix was already winding down near the end of his shift Wednesday evening when he heard someone blaring their horn.
The Marion County Sheriff's Office K9 deputy thought it was some annoyed rush-hour driver sounding their displeasure. But then he realized a white Hyundai was trying to get his attention.
"Traffic was really bad and so the first person we saw when we turned was the officer and my sister screamed, 'There's the officer. We need to stop and get him!'... When he let his window down, I screamed, 'My baby's not breathing,'" Nechole Crowell, told WESH 2 News Thursday.
Crowell's 4-month-old son, Kingston, was in trouble.
Nix told Crowell's sister, who was driving, to pull off the side of the road. Dash-cam video from the incident, which happened at about 5:30 p.m. at Southeast Lake Weir Avenue and 17th Street, shows Crowell jump out of the passenger side of the car carrying a limp baby in nothing but diapers. Nix meets her and takes the baby.
"The first words out of her mouth were, 'Don't let my baby die,'" Nix said.
The officer starts CPR on the little boy, but the boy does not respond.
"I heard this one breath that was very faint. ... I turned and I remember thinking, 'I don't hear sirens. I don't hear nobody coming. I don't have time,'" Nix said.
The video shows Nix get back into his patrol car with the baby and take off.
"I just gripped him as tight as I could and I put it in drive and just went," he said.
Crowell didn't mind.
"He just took off and he left us there and I just followed suit," she said.
What followed was a 70-second trip that shows Nix deftly maneuvering his vehicle from the roadside to the emergency entrance at Ocala Regional Medical Center. The facility is undergoing construction, which sometimes snarls traffic to the emergency entrance.
"Their entrance and exit is a nightmare right now, but by God's divine intervention that place was like a clear path for me. It was like an obstacle course," he said.
Nix pulled up with sirens blaring, which got everyone's attention at the emergency room.
"I put the car in park and jumped out of my car. The doors open and they were all looking. I just went straight to the first nurse and just handed the baby to them," Nix said.
Doctors were able to get the baby breathing again, but he later went to UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville for further treatment.
Nix and his wife went to Shands to visit the baby Wednesday night.
"I knew he wasn't out of the woods just yet. I felt like I wanted to go see him," said the father of four.
On Thursday morning, Crowell told the officer that Kingston was back to his old self.
"She said he had a great night, he was off all his medication and that he was thriving on his own. He was eating very well. He looked perfect," Nix said.
Crowell and doctors credit Nix with saving the baby's life.
"The doctor at ORMC made it very clear to me. He said, 'If you would have waited on the ambulance, the baby wouldn't have survived," Nix said.
In a Facebook post Thursday morning, Crowell, wrote that "yesterday GOD showed me just how real he was. My son KING was barely breathing, & fighting for his life."
She continued: "My sister & I noticed an officer sitting at a red light & we got his attention. With his fast thinking HE & GOD saved my son."
The mother wrote: "His word to me was 'Don't you worry, i will not leave until i help save your son!' 'GOD had me in the right place because he knew you needed me... THANK YOU OFFICER JAY NIX."
"I just wanted the world to know how great this officer is, & how GREAT GOD is," she wrote, adding that "not all officers are bad, he's one of many good guys."
©2018 the Ocala Star-Banner (Ocala, Fla.)