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Woman honored for saving granddaughter

A Jayess woman was honored Friday for her efforts in saving heronly grandchild earlier this year.

Deborah Moody, a nurse for Dr. Jeff Clark and Dr. Jeffrey Boyd,saved her then two-month-old granddaughter, Emma Marie Siler, inFebruary after the baby began choking on a penny.

Moody said her granddaughter and daughter, April Siler, who bothreside in Bay St. Louis, were visiting with Moody when the incidentoccurred.

“They had come to visit and someone laid the pacifier down onthe coffee table, then she (the baby) started crying and we put thepacifier back in her mouth,” recalled Moody.

When the pacifier was placed in the baby’s mouth, a penny thathad become stuck to it was also unknowingly put in the baby’smouth.

Minutes later, while the mother held her, the infant gagged whenthe penny became lodged in her throat.

“She was not breathing at all,” said Moody. “She had turnedpurplish-blue and she was limp.”

The baby was immediately turned over to Moody because of heryears of experience as a nurse. At that time, no one knew thereason the baby had stopped breathing, but Moody began to narrowthe possibilities.

“First, I tried a few rescue breaths and nothing went in, so Ilooked to see if there was anything in her mouth and I didn’t seeanything, but I knew something was constructing her airway,” shesaid.

She then realized the baby must have something caught in herthroat. So she began the form of the Heimlich maneuver used oninfants.

“I turned her over and started back blows,” Moody said. “Thenabout the second blow, a penny shot out of her mouth.”

Relief rushed through the family as the infant began taking biggulps of air.

Moody said it was then that she thought she might needycardiopulmonary recitation (CPR) performed on herself because herheart was racing from the adrenaline rush.

“When it was over with, I could hardly stand up,” sherecalled.

Moody had remained fairly calm during the procedure, though.

“I just did what I had to do because it was left up to me tosave her,” she said, adding that the nearest hospital is 15 milesfrom her house.

Since the incident, the baby’s mother has learned that it isimportant for all mothers to know life-saving skills, such as theHeimlich maneuver and CPR.

“She hasn’t learned CPR, but after it was all over, she had medemonstrate the Heimlich maneuver,” said Moody.

Moody was given the Heartsavers award Friday during a Heartwalk2000 luncheon. The award was presented by Kim Bridge, a CPRinstructor at King’s Daughters Medical Center, whom Moody hadshared her story with during a recent training session.

She was grateful for the award, but most thankful for the lifethat was spared.

“I’m glad for this award, but Emma’s award enough,” shesaid.