Guardsman saves infant from choking
DARMSTADT, Germany — Spc. Ryan Maynard, a 20-year-old National Guardsman from Franklin, Conn., got a new nickname Friday: baby saver.
Maynard, a military policeman with the 643rd Military Police Company, was on patrol about noon when the call came over the radio that a young child at Lincoln Village housing area was having trouble breathing. The call was directed at another patrol, but Maynard was driving by the housing area and volunteered to take it.
He didn’t think about what he might be getting himself into or what he should do when he got there, he said. He just thought about getting there.
“It’s not like it’s the first medical call we’ve ever gotten,” Maynard said.
That doesn’t mean it was routine. He had never responded to a call for anyone that young before, he said.
Maynard arrived at the residence to find a 2-month-old girl who couldn’t breath and couldn’t cry. Her eyes were beginning to roll back in her head, he said.
As for the parents — both soldiers — “They were in shock,” he said. “It’s their child. It’s two months old.”
The baby’s father had started rescue breathing, but with little success. Maynard, who is CPR-certified and undergoes regular first-aid training with his unit, stepped in.
“The training just kicks in without thinking about it,” he said.
He lost track of time, but guessed it took less than a minute before the infant was breathing again.
“I felt better about the situation, but I still wanted her to get checked,” Maynard said.
Even with the baby breathing again, he was concerned.
“Unless you’re actually there, it’s hard to explain the feeling,” he said.
A German ambulance arrived moments later and whisked the infant and her parents away. The parents were thankful, though still shaken, as they left for the hospital.
In less than two hours, word of Maynard’s actions had swept across Darmstadt’s military community. As Maynard prepared to get back to work Friday afternoon, Lt. Col. David Astin, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Darmstadt, stopped the soldier to thank him for saving the life of the baby.
“That’s the baby saver,” said Maj. Dan Hollingshead, who also works for the garrison.
“You don’t want to see these calls,” Maynard said. “But it’s good to know that you helped. It’s good to know that the help is there.”