ST. GEORGE — Three-month-old Jovie Bennett had just been put down in her crib when 20 minutes later, she was no longer breathing. As the Bennetts yelled for help, neighbor Kendee Bowler came to the rescue.
Dammeron Valley Fire and Rescue and the Northwest Fire District arrived shortly after Bowler had begun CPR, and after continued treatment by first responders, they were able to get a pulse back.
“Taylor, Jovie’s mom, was already performing CPR. She had put Jovie down for a nap and had checked her just 20 minutes prior. Kendee took over CPR from Taylor and that was critical,” Dammeron Valley Fire and Rescue Department Interim Chief Christina DuBois said.
For Bowler’s efforts on scene, she was awarded a Lifesaver Award by the Dammeron Valley Fire and Rescue Department.
“She’s also a young mother, her children are the same age as the Bennett’s,” DuBois said. “In fact, she had a baby that is exactly the same age as Jovie.”
Jovie was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center and then she was then flown to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.
DuBois said Jovie had no preexisting conditions and was on no medications. She also said there are certain challenges of performing CPR on an infant as it’s different than administering it to an adult or young adult.
“She is a nurse, she is not working as a nurse right now, but she stepped up to the plate,” DuBois said. “It’s scary to do that, but she did it. I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing CPR and not being afraid to do it.”
As of Friday morning, the baby is alive at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Central Fire Chief Steve Haluska said.
The community held a benefit team roping, silent auction and bake sale on Wednesday night to help the family. For those who weren’t able to make it to the benefit, a Venmo account was set up in Jovie’s name, @Jovie-Bennett, to help her family with medical costs.
“The whole community pulled together for the Bennetts,” DuBois said. “Our hearts are just breaking at the fire department for them. It’s sad for us to go on any emergency medical call, but it’s so much more sad for an innocent infant. We really feel for the family and the friends.”
Update Aug. 28, 8:30 a.m. This report was updated with the most current information about the child’s condition.
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