CPR savior helps keep Arnegard family together

Published: Jan. 29, 2019 at 10:02 PM CST
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A toddler in Arnegard is alive today because of what the family is calling a real-life miracle.

Olivia Freeland had an emotional reunion today with the person she says saved her child's life. Two days ago Terri Young performed CPR on Emma.

Terri says, "If that ever happened to one of my kids, I would hope that somebody would step up."

Emma fell off the cart and hit her head on the ground and stopped breathing while they were shopping at a store.

"I didn't know what to do and I just knew my baby wasn't breathing, that's all I knew. That's all I knew. She's only one year old. If this fall was as bad as it sounded, she could've had a crack in her skull and internal bleeding and be on the verge of dying for all we knew,” says Olivia.

That’s when a complete stranger stepped in. Olivia says, "She comes over and just takes one look at her and looks at the cashier and says this baby is gone, call 911."

After that, Terri took the baby and started performing CPR on the infant on the counter of another register. "From when Terri looked at her to when she laid her down, Emma's face was just pure purple, she was like a blueberry. It was terrifying and she wasn't moving. Her body was lifeless and I thought she was gone,” says Olivia.

Emma started breathing again.

Terri says, "She had made some gasping for air noises, and I could tell she was coming back. I turned around and actually told Emma to look for her mommy, and I grabbed her and told her to come up there."

While Emma was on her way to the hospital, Terri says "There were a lot of good people in the store that day" because other bystanders helped Terri get Olivia's older daughter home.

At the hospital, the doctors took CAT scans and concluded that Emma was fine and had no injuries except for a bruise on her head. They got home later that night, and since then baby Emma has had some headaches, and is dealing with some emotional trauma.

Olivia says, "She's scared to do a lot of things. She's scared to climb up onto a chair; climb up and down stairs. If she even slips a tiny bit she will cry for a very long time. She is very scared of falling."

The families say it was meant to be, because Terri went to school to be an EMT, and was not planning to go to that particular store that day.

Terri states, "I think God had me at that store, and had me there for her."

Both women say they plan on being a part of each other's lives for a long time to come.