Back in 2012, Gary Wilson was busy trying to get a ride to Memphis, when he happened to spot a couple in crisis.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on October 1, 2021. It has since been updated.
When a homeless man was hitchhiking near a truck stop in Oklahoma City, little did he expect to save a new-born child's life. Back in 2012, Gary Wilson spotted a couple in crisis when he was busy trying to get a ride to Memphis. Per CBS News, when a pregnant Keaton Mason was driving to the hospital along with her fiancée, her baby suddenly decided that it was time to enter the world. Frantically, the couple pulled into a truck stop as Mason gave birth to a baby girl in the passenger seat of their Honda. What was supposed to be the happiest moment of their life quickly turned horrifying when the umbilical cord wrapped around the infant's neck while she was coming out.
"The lady was screaming, 'My baby, my baby's blue ... she's not breathing,'" recalled a bystander, Jennifer Morris, who immediately alerted emergency services. In a state of panic, the parents of the new-born called 911 but before help could arrive, a hero made his way towards them. It was Wilson, the homeless hitchhiker, who immediately stepped in to assist the pair. With the guidance of the 911 operator he began untying the umbilical cord in an effort to free the baby's neck and rubbed her back to comfort the child. Throughout the heartstopping moment, Wilson remained calm and finally managed to save the baby's life.
"He kept me pretty calm. … He said, 'Everything’s OK. She’s OK, she’s breathing,'" shared Mason. Paramedic Sandra Lesperance was extremely impressed by Mason, who politely followed the directions given by the operator. "He did everything perfectly right," said Lesperance according to Yahoo! News. A truck stop employee even drew similarities between Mason and Jesus. "He had the long hair, the long beard. A very nice gentleman," shared Waneva Morris. And Mason couldn't agree more as she said, "He was our angel that night. That's for sure."
Baby Tatum Brown was reportedly born four weeks early and weighed 4 pounds, 11 ounces. Despite the ordeal she experienced at the truck stop, doctors said she was doing just fine. As for Wilson, he did have a brief conversation with people at the truck stop and mentioned he was a Montana man who was on his way to Jacksonville, Florida. Grateful for his heroic actions, folks offered him a free meal at the stop and a place to stay. Though he left without a trace the following morning, his actions will forever be in the graces of Mason and little Tatum. This is what humanity is all about.
Something similar happened in 2019 when Deputy William Kimbro, of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office, stopped a speeding car only to find a lifeless baby inside.
The mother of the 12-day old girl was desperately trying to reach the hospital as her daughter had stopped breathing suddenly, we previously reported. But the South Carolina deputy officer who stopped her on the way ended up becoming her hero. When he learned that little Ryleigh became lifeless after being fed from a bottle, Deputy William's instincts kicked in as he began performing first aid to help the child breathe again. In the bodycam footage, the deputy can be seen massaging her tiny chest around her heart. "Come on baby, cry for me, cry for me," he pleaded. "Come on, open those eyes, sweetheart."
Just as he starts massaging her lips, the baby girl is heard crying faintly. "As long as she's crying like that, she's breathing," he told the mom. William continued performing CPR until the EMS arrived at the scene. Next, he inserted his fingers in her mouth to help open her passageway. As first responders took over, William assured the mother, "I didn't feel a heartbeat earlier so I started massaging her heart and now I feel it's really strong now." Thankfully, the deputy's intervention ended up saving the child's life and Ryleigh's mother went home with a miracle instead of a speeding ticket.
Cover image source: YouTube Screenshot | CBS News