Neighbor uses recent CPR training to save young boy - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Neighbor uses recent CPR training to save young boy

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PEGRAM, TN (WSMV) -

What would you do if someone knocked on your door and handed you a lifeless child? It happened in Pegram this week, and the man who answered the door had just finished a course in CPR.

James Pressley, 4, has seizures due to a condition called Dravet syndrome, or severe infant epilepsy.

On Sunday night, he had a seizure in the bathtub, swallowed water and stopped breathing. His mother pulled him from the tub, but he still wasn't breathing.

"I didn't know what to do. I thought if I called 911 and just sat and waited in my house, he could be dead by the time they got there, so I just ran fast," said mother Leigh Rast.

Rast placed James over her shoulder and ran out her door, knocking on a neighbor's door whom she had never met.

"We live in a circle and have lots of neighbors, but I knew they had kids at home, so if anyone knew what to do it was them," Rast said.

Fortunately, neighbor Gary Cox was at home.

And even more amazing is that Cox, a steel detailer in Brentwood, had recently completed a CPR class offered through his employer.

"All I heard was, 'Does anyone know CPR?' I thought, 'What is this? Who is this?' And I saw her holding James, soaking wet from the bathtub," Cox said. "I just picked him up off the couch, laid him on a flat surface on the floor, cleared his airway and gave him one good pump on his chest. A little bit of water came out of his mouth, and he took a huge breath."

Like a lot of dads, Cox has always wanted to be a hero in his family's eyes. But now, he's much more than that.

"I'm so thankful that we're neighbors and that we live in a small community where people are friendly and want to help," Rast said. "And if you knock on their door with a naked baby over your shoulder, they let you in."

Handsome little James has had quite a life even before this near-death episode. If you would like to learn more about him, Dravet syndrome and how you can help other children like him, visit: http://www.littleseizures.org.

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