Paramedic turned postal worker saves baby who stopped breathing


JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — Kayla Coffman came to work for the postal service almost 20 years ago because she wanted to have a job that would be more routine and flexible than her previous career.

“Being a mother, it just wasn’t a good thing to be getting up in the middle of the night,” Coffman said of her last job. “Leaving a baby at night home with Daddy just didn’t work well.”

However, Coffman’s week at the Jacksonville Post Office has been far from routine. She was sitting in her office with a supervisor when she heard the sound of a very young baby crying outside the door. The next thing she heard was someone yelling that the baby wasn’t breathing.

“I don’t know what really happened,” Coffman said. “I just knew I had to take care of that baby.”

While someone called 911, Coffman started treating the baby.

“In my mind, I’m like, who is this lady who just took my baby from me? Why is the post-lady coming out here and taking my baby?” laughed the infant’s mother, Cassie Newcomb.

But she wasn’t laughing at the time. Newcomb says that she was terrified when a man in line behind her told her that something was wrong with her baby.

“I looked down and she had turned really red and her eyes were wide open,” Newcomb remembered. “She was not even gasping. Her mouth was really closed tight and she couldn’t get any breaths.”

Newcomb started trying to pound her her baby’s back to clear her airway. She told WIAT 42 that she had no idea what to do, but Coffman did.

“She said it’s okay I’m a paramedic,” Newcomb said. “In my frantic state I was like, a paramedic is working at the post office? What in the world?”

Coffman managed to get the baby to breath again. She and Newcomb cleared the mucus from the baby’s nose and mouth.

By the time paramedics arrived minutes later, the baby was crying. Newcomb tells us that at the hospital, they learned the baby had a lung infection even though she was not exhibiting any other symptoms.

She thinks it’s possible that the infant could have become even more ill if the incident in the post office had never happened.

“I was a paramedic for 12 years,” Coffman explained, “and I absolutely loved it.” She thinks it was her training, but also her motherly instincts that kicked in when she helped the baby.

As for Cassie Newcomb, she feels like she was meant to come to the post office that day. She doesn’t even live in Jacksonville; she was in town to visit a friend when she dropped something off at the post office.

“We went by there for a reason,” she said. “It was just crazy that I stopped by there and she was a paramedic working at the post office. I know that He had those people in place to take care of our little girl that day.”

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