LIBERTY TOWNSHIP | A 4-week-old baby girl is alive thanks to a Porter County sheriff's deputy who performed CPR when the girl stopped breathing.
The officer credits God and his training for helping him stay calm and focused in a chaotic situation.
Diamond Earl on Friday had just brought home her baby, Chyna, who had been hospitalized since her premature birth.
Earl said her mother, Shalonda Earl, was tending to the baby when the baby stopped breathing about midnight.
Diamond Earl said she called 911 for an ambulance while her mother performed CPR. She said the baby started to breathe but was struggling.
When the baby stopped breathing again and started turning blue, they decided to drive to the hospital.
"I was crying; I didn’t know what to think," Earl said. "It was painful watching her changing colors."
En route to the mother's home, Sgt. Jeremy Chavez was flagged down by Earl.
Chavez said he went to the baby in her car seat and found Chyna with her eyes rolled back and foam at her mouth.
Chavez took the baby from the car seat and performed chest compressions until Chyna started wheezing and making noise.
Medics put the baby in an ambulance and rushed her to Porter Regional Hospital's Emergency Room.
Earl said they were transferred to Children's Memorial Hospital in South Bend, where the baby remained Monday. She said doctors don't know why Chyna stopped breathing, but she now is doing well.
Chavez said he wasn’t supposed to work Friday night but was filling in for another officer.
He said as soon as he heard the call, he started reviewing what he learned just a month ago during his CPR recertification.
During his 14 years as a police officer, he had never performed CPR on a baby.
"It was a amazing," Earl said of Chavez's efforts. "He did whatever it took to keep her alive. It was really scary."
Chavez said he tried to remain calm.
“I remember thinking this baby can’t die now, not four days before Christmas,” he said.
Earl said she's grateful to Chavez.
"It was just a blessing he was at the right place at the right time. I'm so thankful."
But Chavez believes God was at work, placing him close to the scene not long after his recertification.
“The gravity of the situation was that it could have gone the other way,” he said. “It was a miracle. God was watching over Chyna that day.”