Williams honored for helping child

By Alastair Baker
Thursday, August 9, 2018
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Photo by Alastair Baker

Fromberg Councilman Tim Nottingham presents Dustin Williams with a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the town for his quick action towards helping a choking infant.

Dustin Williams was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by Fromberg City Council, Monday, for coming to the aid of a choking baby.  

The incident occurred last weekend while Williams, 17, was riding his bike through the town. He caught sight of a woman holding her child and “patting” it on the back.

“At first I didn’t think much of it. I saw the lady come out patting the baby on the back. I thought it was just puking,” Williams recalled.

At first he carried on riding but soon came back.

“I saw blood coming out of the baby’s mouth and I rushed over there. The mom was on the phone with dispatch. But she was crying and they couldn’t understand her. She could hardly breathe, so I had to help calm her down and give the baby CPR,” he said.

The child “was dead in my hands when I got there. It had no signs of life, it wasn’t biting my fingers, I couldn’t feel it gag, it had no reflexes. Its lips were blue and there was a purple shade on its eyelids,” recalled Williams.

Williams said he could “see a lump by the collarbone.”

He stuck both his fingers down the throat but could barely feel the obstruction with the tip of his fingers.

“So I spread my fingers open and tried to create an airway, and gave it CPR and in two or three minutes it finally started taking a breath.”

Williams said he felt “very relieved and it started biting my fingers.” He said he had used a hammer fist and pushed on the child slightly.

Williams then ran to a neighbor who is an EMT and he in turn ran to get Fromberg Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Ventling and his wife, Kelle, an EMT with Clarks Fork Valley ambulance, while an ambulance was on its way.

Williams procured some of his CPR knowledge from a class he took in school as well as from his mom, Jeri, who is a registered nurse and a certified nursing assistant.

“It’s simple. You just got to stay calm. You can even do it after seeing a movie. You got to tilt the head back. You just have to remember it is a small child,” said Williams.

Williams father Danno said he is “very proud of him.”

“Most people seem to stay away from situations. How often do we drive by someone broken down on the road? That one time you go passed might be the one time you can do something good. We need to do more of this stuff,” said Danno. “I hope someone can look at this and say ‘wow, he’s never had any training and he was still able to do something, whether it was minute or a major thing.’ You know if you can stop and help someone you know it is more than worth it.”

“It shows how important it is that people should know CPR,” he said.

This was a point reiterated by Kelle Ventling.

“It’s good proof of getting people out to do CPR. He had an idea of what you should be doing and what you shouldn’t be doing. It’s important. It’s a 4-5 hour class with the American Red Cross and you are good for two years and the re-cert isn’t as long,” she said.

“We need more people in the community like that, it makes our job a little easier,” said Mike Ventling.

At the Fromberg Town Council meeting Monday, Councilman Tim Nottingham thanked Williams “for a job well done.”

“He saved this baby’s life. I appreciate you being there at the right time and doing the right thing. I have to say it’s amazing that we have the youth we have today that are able to step up and do what was required to save a life. A lot of youth would have run and avoided it but not this young man and I really appreciate it. It is pretty awesome,” said Nottingham.

“We have a lot of pretty amazing young people in our community, a lot of them have stepped up in anyway they can. We should recognize them for the work they do,” said Fromberg Mayor Shirley Miller.

The baby is presently being cared for at an undisclosed hospital.

The Carbon County News

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