By ADAM RUSSELL, firstname.lastname@example.org
Five-year-old Aamiyah Warren lay motionless and her extremities were turning blue when next-door neighbor Antonio Henderson answered frantic calls for help.
On Feb. 16, Aamiyah’s mother, Jasmine Taylor, 23, an ophthalmic assistant, was preparing for an early morning trip her daughter’s cheer competition in Dallas when she noticed signs of trouble. Just a week earlier, her daughter had been diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune neuromuscular disease that typically causes weakness in voluntary muscles. There were plans for follow-ups and treatment planning with doctors but Aamiyah had difficulty swallowing her breakfast and began vomiting soon after taking her medicine that morning, Ms. Taylor said.
Ms. Taylor frantically called 9-1-1 and waited at the door for paramedics.
“Then she started having seizures and collapsed in my arms,” she said.
Aamiyah’s muscles were collapsing her airways and prevented her from breathing.
Ms. Taylor ran next door and began banging on Henderson’s door screaming for help.
Henderson’s sister woke him and he rushed to the child’s aid.
Henderson, 27, a nurses’ aid and nursing student, said the stress of the situation was incredible but that he was only thinking “about getting that little girl back to her mom.”
Henderson performed CPR and revived the girl and kept her breathing until paramedics arrived.
Usually away on weekends, Henderson said he was where God wanted him to be when his sister roused him from sleep early that morning.
He said it was a blessing to revive the girl.
“It’s a blessing I could do that, not only for (Aamiyah), but for Jasmine and the family because that would have been devastating to everyone,” he said.
As the father of an 8-year-old, Henderson said he couldn’t imagine the stress Ms. Taylor experienced.
Commissioner Terry Phillips, Ms. Taylor’s landlord rushed to the house when he heard there was a commotion at the home. When he arrived, Henderson had already begun CPR but the scene was grim, he said.
Phillips said Henderson remained calm as he prayed amid the distraught family members. For his quick action to revive the girl, Phillips and county commissioners recognized Henderson’s heroism Tuesday with a certificate.
“There was no life in her,” Phillips said. “But for Antonio’s life-saving training and quick action, Aamiyah would not be here today.”
The prognosis is positive for Aamiyah. Doctors have told her mother brainwave tests showed normal results and that with treatment or medication, myasthenia gravis will not prevent her from normal activities.
“My family has thanked (Antonio) a million times,” she said. “He’s done so much for us.”