Mother says Cedarville student saved child’s life

A Cedarville mother who found her toddler in his crib, purple and unresponsive, is crediting a neighbor and pharmacy student with saving the child’s life.

“I had been washing dishes,” said Damaris Pearson. “I get this sudden feeling that God is calling me, go and check on him.” She heard her 2-year-old son, Josiah, making a noise, and “I saw him just staring at the ceiling, not recognizing me and not breathing.”

She thought perhaps some of his lunch was coming back up, but nothing would come out, she said, recalling Friday’s events. Pearson said her son’s teeth were clenched. She carried him to the living room, and noticed he started to go limp and turn blue.

“I started to panic, totally panic. I didn’t know what to do,” she said.

She said she started crying out, “help me, help me.”

Her next thought was to run to her neighbors’ house, Pearson said.

She knocked on the door until the neighbor Josh Arnold, a student in the School of Pharmacology at Cedarville, opened it.

Arnold said students are certified in Basic Life Support at the beginning of the program and he was recertified last fall. He is in his final year of classes.

“I could see his whole body was limp. I could see the purple hue to his face, his lips were blue,” said Arnold. He said his training kicked in immediately. He looked for a pulse, started CPR, had Pearson call 911 and was praying all at the same time.

Arnold credits Cedarville’s police and paramedics who arrived very quickly.

At the hospital, the staff explained the toddler’s temperature must have spiked, sending his body into shock and causing a seizure.

The boy’s father, Joshua Pearson, was at work at the time, but wrote a letter of gratitude to Cedarville.

“We are grateful to say that our son is back on the road to being his normal, happy self,” Pearson added.

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