Without the help of his neighbors, Josh Mays believes his 6-month-old daughter wouldn’t be with him today.

Mays, whose daughter, Saige, suffers from a long list of medical issues including 3C syndrome, a rare disease that affects the heart and brain, said the heroics of Kokomo Police Officer Jeremy Dodd, his wife, Jessica Dodd, and Crystal Oliver, saved his daughter’s life.

“Last Tuesday, while at work, my daughter was about to finish her lunch, which is given via a feeding tube, when she turned purple and stopped breathing,” Mays said.

Mays said his girlfriend, Rebecca Dempsey, and his mother alertly ran the child next door to the Dodds residence in Vinton Woods seeking help.

With Jeremy Dodd being a police officer, and Jessica Dodd and Oliver both nurses, they were confident Saige was in good hands.

“They immediately began CPR and they brought her back to life before the ambulance was there,” Mays said. “If it weren’t for their courageous actions, my little girl wouldn’t be here.”

Jeremy Dodd gave a lot of credit to his wife and Oliver for taking quick, decisive action.

“It all worked out really well,” he said Wednesday. “Jessica put a plan together and really held everything together. She just happened to get off early that day. Her friend, Crystal, lives beside us, and stopped by to see Jessica, and I was upstairs sleeping.

“Jessica told Crystal to start working on the kid and told the grandmother to call 911. She then woke me and said there’s a baby in the living room not breathing. I checked for a heartbeat and there was nothing. I did CPR and it seemed like for a long time. I checked again and nothing. In between cycles, I stopped to check to see if she was breathing, and Jessica said she had a heartbeat. The little girl made a squeaking noise and took a breath. She opened those blue eyes and locked eyes with me. I said, ‘Hello, sweetheart,’ and the medics came in and took her away.

“It was neat to be part of that,” he continued. “It was very humbling. I didn’t do anything any other cop wouldn’t have done.”

Jeremy credited the outcome to divine intervention.

“Me and my wife are devoted Christians,” he said. “We were just being used as a tool that day. It’s not a coincidence [Jessica] was home. She’s never home at that time. It was definitely divine intervention.”

Police Chief Rob Baker said all three will receive letters of commendation for their heroics.

“Jeremy did an awesome job,” Baker said. “All of them did an awesome job.”

Mays said Saige was born with hydrocephalus, referred to as water on the brain, and suffers from 3C syndrome, a rare condition, characterized by cardiac malformation (heart defects), cerebella hypoplasia and cranial dysmorphism (symptoms involving the brain).

“There’s only 25 kids in the world who have this disease,” Mays said.

Mays told the Tribune of his neighbors’ heroics Wednesday as he was traveling to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, where his daughter is now being treated.

“If they hadn’t done what they did, I wouldn’t be going to see my daughter right now,” said Mays.

“They should be commended for there heroism. You don’t see that much anymore, and it’s very reassuring to know that people like that still exist.”

Mike Fletcher, Tribune crime reporter, may be reached at 765-454-8565 or via e-mail at mike.fletcher@kokomotribune.com

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