911 Dispatcher walks terrified mother through CPR on toddler

By Lori Brown - bio | email

SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC-TV) - A 911 recording released Tuesday shows how a dispatcher was able to talk a terrified mother through CPR before paramedics arrived to the near drowning.

The critical information communicated could be what helped save a 16-month old boy's life.

The toddler who fell into his family's swimming pool on Cordova Club Drive after apparently pushing out a screen window is still at LeBonheur, but his condition is improving.

"We don't know how to do CPR. Please help us," the mother said to the dispatcher Saturday.

On the other line was Sherry Thompson, a Shelby County Fire Department Dispatcher.

"Okay, we're going to tell you how to make the baby breathe," Thompson said.

Thompson managed to focus the mother, and tell her how to save her baby's life.

"Put him on his back right now," Thompson said.

"Okay, he's on his back."

"Put your ear to his mouth and make sure you don't hear or feel any breath at all."

"I don't hear any breath!" the mother said.

"Okay, tilt his head back. Tilt his head back right now."

The dispatcher went on to walk the mother through chest compressions. Three and a half minutes into the call a man who knew CPR stepped in.

"He was almost purple when I pulled him out of the pool," the mother told the dispatcher.

"Has his color changed since you've gotten him out? Is he still purple?"


"Okay. Okay. Tell them the keep pumping. Whatever they do, do not stop."

Nine and half minutes into the call, the dispatcher continued her instructions.

"Where are the paramedics?" the mother asked.

"You should hear them, you should hear them. Do you hear the sirens?"

The mother told the man performing CPR to keep pumping. After ten-and-a-half agonizing minutes, hope arrived.

"They're here, they're taking over."

"They're taking over?"


"God Bless you and good luck ma'am," the dispatcher said.

"Thank you so much ma'am!"

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