Good Samaritan Credits Jesus Christ for Helping Her Save a Choking Baby on Thanksgiving Day

By Nancy Flory Published on November 28, 2018

If Debra Rouse had taken a vacation this past summer, 7-month-old Calli Jarvis might not be alive. 

“We didn’t take a vacation this summer and so we thought we’d do something for Thanksgiving,” Rouse told The Stream in an interview. The Rouse family decided to take a trip to Asheville, North Carolina, four-and-a-half hours from home. They ended up at Golden Corral for a Thanksgiving day meal.

She Heard a Baby Cough 

As they were finishing their meal, they heard a baby at another table cough. Rouse glanced over at the baby and thought she looked distressed. The mom started yelling, “She’s choking, she’s choking!” Rouse called to the family to put the baby upside down, in the position for the Heimlich manuever. “I just ran over there and literally grabbed her out of [someone’s] arms.”

The baby wasn’t breathing. Rouse began performing the Heimlich maneuver on her while the child’s mother prayed. “She was just praying and calling on the Lord, and I was just like, ‘good.’ In my mind, I’m thinking, ‘Yes!’ because I’m trying to keep my emotions intact. People were crying and yelling and calling out on the Lord, so I tried to stay focused.”

The baby began breathing and Rouse cleared her nose. “When I cleared her nose, that’s when she cried out. I was just like, ‘Thank you Jesus!’ My thing was just, I don’t want to give this baby back to her mother and she’s dead.” 

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Rouse said it was Jesus Christ Himself Who helped her. “With her calling on Jesus Christ and praying, and Him giving me that knowledge to actually know how to do it and to stay calm and do it, that’s what got me through that.”

Rouse’s job requires her to become CPR certified each year. She’s also required to learn the Heimlich manuever for adults and babies. She got her last certification back in the summer. But she doesn’t believe in coincidences. “You know, my husband is a pastor and he always teaches us that in the Hebrew, there’s no word for coincidence. So, I just believe that God had me at the right place at the right time.”

Jesus Heard Their Desperate Cries

The girl’s mother got Rouse’s name, but not her phone number. So she asked for help through a Facebook post. “I will never forget the many tears that were shed today in Golden Corral as this angel stepped in to perform the heimlich maneuver that saved my baby from choking to death,” the mother wrote. “Most importantly, thank  you Jesus for hearing our desperate cries for Calli this Thanksgiving afternoon. Christ was with us today. Christ made sure that he was going to protect my baby today and that’s just what he did.”

“I knew I had to act,” said Rouse. “I just thank God for that knowledge and that He put me in the right place at the right time that I could help somebody have a wonderful Thanksgiving.”

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