BY THE COLUMBUS PACKET
A quick response time by Lowndes County emergency workers led to the resuscitation of an 11-month old child late last week in the New Hope community. Paisley Mason was revived by Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office deputies Cpl. Randy Collin and Lt. Clint Smith after choking on a seatbelt in the backseat of her mother’s Chevy Tahoe. The child was transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital Golden Triangle before being transferred to University Medical Center in Jackson.
Mason’s ordeal began when her mother, Nikki Beasley, accidentally locked her keys inside her vehicle shortly after 8 a.m. on Thurs., April 25. Beasely soon realized she had also locked her infant daughter in the vehicle. Mason was contained in a child seat in the back of the vehicle and was being restrained by a seatbelt. According to E-911 dispatcher Heather Cole, Beasley called 911 to ask for assistance.
“The call came in as a child locked in a vehicle,” Cole said. “I called the LCSO and a deputy was dispatched.”
Cole said she received a harrowing call from Beasley about five minutes later.
“She called back and said the child was trying to get out of the car seat and she had somehow wrapped her herself up in the seatbelt and she was choking,” a tearful Cole said during a press conference Thursday morning. “I immediately asked the mother if she could find something around her to use to break out the window. She said she had tried. She was hysterical at that point.”
Cole said she dispatched an ambulance and the District 3 Volunteer Fire Department to assist the previously dispatched deputies.
Lt. Clint Sims said Collins and Cpl. Blake Prescott were on the scene when he arrived at the home at 271 Casey Lane in New Hope. Sgt. Mark McGairty of the LCSO also arrived on the scene.
“Prescott had to bust out the window with a baton,” Sims said. “The mother had tried to use a bat but the windows of a Chevy Tahoe have tempered glass and it’s very hard to break. We removed the child from the seat in the middle of the backseat and she wasn’t breathing and there wasn’t a pulse. She had turned blue and Collins and I started doing CPR at that point.”
Sims said the total time that elapsed between the first 911 call Beasley placed until the arrival of the deputies was seven minutes.
On Monday, Sims, who said the LCSO receives yearly CPR training and certification, was still visibly shaken by the incident. Sims said Mason, who will turn one on May 9, was fortunate to be alive.
“I’ve been doing this for 17 years and this was the first time I was able to get a pulse and get someone breathing,” Sims said.
Mason was still in ICU at UMC at press time, but a family spokesperson said she had an infection in her lungs over the weekend but has recovered and she is making a “positive progression” as any brain swelling has subdued.
“Although the doctors are unable to provide any definite answers on her condition to the family, Paisley is showing very encouraging signs and is headed in a positive direction,” said the spokesperson. “The family also wanted to express their heartfelt thanks to their friends, family and to the community and especially to the first responders who saved Paisley’s life.”
LCSO Chief Deputy Marc Miley also praised the actions of his deputies and emergency responders.
“A lot of times law enforcement gets a bad rap for the things we do,” Miley said. “We don’t just do burglary calls and write speeding tickets — this is part of our everyday job. These officers and all of the emergency personnel are to be commended for saving this child’s life.”
A support group for Mason has been set up on Facebook. Praying for Paisley currently has more than 4000 “likes” and provides daily updates on Mason’s condition. Leann Jenkins, who manages the site for the family, encourages anyone wanting to help the family to make a donation at any local Trustmark Bank under “Britt Beasley donation account for Paisley Mason”. Because Paisley is still in the ICU, she cannot receive gifts or flowers.
District 3 Volunteers, BMH-GT Paramedics and 911 Dispatchers Melody Profiet, Shelly Boman and Terrica Randle assisted in saving Mason’s life.