A trucker is being hailed as a hero after his quick thinking and incredible fortitude brought a young girl back from the brink of death. Truly a story of how truckers are still the heroes of the open road.
It was 4 in the morning the day after Christmas. Chris Delancey had encountered horrible delays near Atlanta thanks to a backlogged shipper, but he was finally making some progress down I-20 towards Fayetteville, NC. He pulled into a Flying J to take a break. It was then that he heard the yells.
“Something’s not right,” came the scream from a vehicle nearby. “She’s not breathing!”
Delancey ran over to the car to find a man and woman standing over their daughter, a small girl in a booster seat.
“I told them I’m a volunteer firefighter and asked if I could touch their daughter to check her out,” Delancey told Truckload Carrier’s Association.
Using his flashlight, Delancey checked her airways to see if she was choking on something, but they appeared to be clear. He used his flashlight to test her eyes, but the pupils did not react. So, he pulled her from the car seat, laid her on his jacket on the ground, and began CPR.
“I told the father I was going to do chest compressions and when I got to 30 he needed to cover the girl’s nose and mouth and breathe into her mouth as hard as he could,” said Delancey. But despite his efforts, the girl showed no signs of recovery.
As he stared down at the little girl, Delancey says that he thought of his own daughter. He lost her to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) at 18 months old the year prior.
“I saw my daughter’s face in that little girl,” he said. “Something told me to keep on going.”
Then, just as the ambulance arrived, the girl took a breath.
“It’s music to your ears,” said Delancey. “Although she had a weak pulse, she was breathing. She opened her eyes and said, ‘Daddy.’”
After he picked up the girl and rushed her over to the ambulance, he went back to his truck and broke down in tears.
“It hit me, that what I couldn’t do for my daughter, I was able to do for this girl so her family could have a second chance with her,” Delancey recounted. “If I hadn’t been running late that night and if I didn’t have a weak bladder, I would have kept on going. I believe there’s divine intervention all around us.”
Well done, driver!