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Porter County officer revives infant who had stopped breathing

Diamond Earl holds her new daughter ChynEarl. The four-week-old infant stopped breathing Saturday but was revived by Porter County Sheriff's

Diamond Earl holds her new daughter, Chyna Earl. The four-week-old infant stopped breathing Saturday but was revived by Porter County Sheriff's Sgt. Jeremy Chavez. | Provided

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Updated: December 23, 2013 8:57PM



VALPARAISO — Diamond Earl’s Christmas gift came a little early, thanks to the life-saving work of Porter County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Chavez.

Shortly after midnight Saturday, he performed CPR on Earl’s four-week-old daughter, Chyna, who had stopped breathing.

“I got my Christmas right here next to me, thanks to him,” Earl said.

Chyna, born two months premature on Nov. 23, was transferred Sunday from Porter Regional Hospital to Memorial Children’s Hospital of South Bend for further tests to determine why she stopped breathing, her mother said.

Chavez wasn’t supposed to be working the midnight shift Saturday. He was just filling in for another officer when he got a call a couple of minutes after midnight about a one-month-old girl in Liberty Township who wasn’t breathing.

As he pulled onto County Road 632 North, Earl and her mother, Shalonda Earl, were already in their car, on their way to the hospital. They honked the horn and flashed the vehicle’s lights so Chavez would stop.

Chavez took the infant from her car seat.

“Her eyes were rolled back and she was unconscious,” Chavez said, adding he knew on his way to the call that he would get there before the ambulance.

“Probably a minute and a half or two minutes in, she started to respond to me,” he said, adding Chyna began to make wheezing noises as he continued CPR until the ambulance arrived. “It was amazing.”

Earl said she brought Chyna home from the hospital Thursday. Saturday evening, she gave the infant a bath and a bottle and her mother offered to watch Chyna for a couple of hours so Earl could get some rest.

As Shalonda Earl was preparing for bed, “she heard (Chyna) take her last breath,” Diamond Earl said, adding her daughter stopped breathing and turned purple.

She called 911 while her mother started CPR.

Chyna started to breathe a bit, so the two decided to head to the hospital. That’s when they encountered Chavez.

“He grabbed my baby out of the car seat and did whatever he could to keep my baby alive — and he did,” Earl said, adding Chyna has been doing OK since the incident.

Chavez has been with the sheriff’s department almost 14 years. He gave CPR to an adult once, but hadn’t done it on a child until last weekend. He received his annual CPR recertification earlier this month. “I just thank God she made it,” he said.

He stopped by the hospital later to see how Chyna was doing, and Earl thanked him.

“The ironic thing is, I wasn’t supposed to be there,” Chavez said. “Things happen for a reason.”



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