Pre-Easter lifesaver: But baby's rescue brings sad dÃ?Â©jÃ?Â vu
Michael Hunt nearly didn't go to the Food Lion with his wife that Sunday afternoon. He reluctantly agreed to go, and then said he'd wait in the car. And those two choices are why three-year-old Victoria Snow is alive today.
In the same Scottsville parking lot on March 21, Jarred Snow waited in the car with Victoria, who had been ill, while his girlfriend ran in to the store to pick up something for dinner.
"I put Gatorade in a cup, and she drank it really fast," Snow, 22, recounts. He looked in the rearview mirror and saw Victoria was throwing up and then went into a seizure.
"I got her out of the car and she was shaking in my arms and went limp," says Snow. "I was yelling, 'Please somebody help me.'"
"This man started hollering, 'Help, help,'" says Michael Hunt, 56, who had volunteered as an emergency medical technician for the Scottsville Rescue Squad for 10 years.
He noticed the toddler going limp. "Her lips turned blue and her arms were ice cold," he says. "I couldn't get a pulse."
Hunt put Victoria on the hood of the Snows' Mercury station wagon and started doing compressions. His wife, Virginia, who had also been a rescue squad volunteer, came out of the store and helped clean out Victoria's mouth. Hunt estimates within five to six minutes, he heard gurgling.
"That's a good sign if there's a blockage," he says. "I thought she'd choked originally."
It wasn't the first time he'd tried to resuscitate a young child. On December 24, 2008, his own grandson, two-month-old Jaden Morris, stopped breathing. That time, the CPR could not save the infant.
'When I got to him, he was limp and not breathing," remembers Hunt. "He was too far gone. I think me being there in the parking lot and the quick response is what saved that little girl."
But even when the ambulance arrived, Jarred Snow didn't know for sure his child was okay.
"They put her in the ambulance and wouldn't let me in," he says. "As far as I knew, she wasn't breathing. It was horrible."
Pegasus flew Victoria from Scottsville to UVA Medical Center, and two days later, she was fine.
She'd had a high fever that caused a seizure, which caused her to stop breathing, explains her grandmother, Rhonda Snow. "Her father had the same thing when he was little," says Snow.
The Snows live in Buckingham County, and Rhonda wants them all to learn CPR. "It's so far away if something like this happens again," she says.
And she's grateful that Michael Hunt was there that day. "If he wasn't," she says, "my grand baby wouldn't be here. He's a hero."
"It eats my heart to see a little kid hurting," says Hunt. "It still kind of bothers me some because of what happened to my grandson."
He pauses. "It brought up a lot of memories."
Correction April 5: Jarred Snow's name was misspelled in the original version.