MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A baby has another shot at life because of the kindness of strangers.
Elise Lonsbury started choking while her mom, Kristin Lonsbury, was driving in Minneapolis back in September.
“She was kind of going in and out of consciousness,” Lonsbury said.
That is when help arrived in a way Lonsbury could have never imagined.
“I knew there was a problem, I knew that it wasn’t right,” she said.
They were already on their way to the hospital. Elise, born premature, was extra fussy at six weeks old, and Kristin had a feeling only mothers know.
“Then I heard silence,” Lonsbury said.
It was deafening. After choking on her spit up, Elise was unconscious in the back seat along Interstate 394 near Penn Avenue.
A nurse named Virginia Marsh just happened to be passing by.
“I knew, you know, that’s just not the right picture,” Marsh said. “Mom kneeling in the grass on the side of the freeway.”
It felt like more than luck when Marsh appeared next to a frantic Kristin, and then another lifeline: Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Paul Strickler.
“We see enough stuff on the road, but when children are involved it kind of gets you right in the heart,” Strickler said.
He also happened to be driving by and stopped to help.
“I see Virginia holding [Elise] in her left arm, head down and delivering back blows, so I knew that the baby was choking,” he said.
Together, these three continued CPR until an ambulance arrived.
“I am just so thankful that they both took the time out of their day because people don’t always do that anymore,” Lonsbury said.
Building careers around compassion, a nurse and trooper did what they know: they helped, and saved a young life.
“You came up and hugged me. And, do you know what I’m going to say? [Virginia] whispered to me, you said, ‘It wasn’t her time yet,’ and that’s the part that, I just, it wasn’t, it wasn’t her time, and she has so much to do here, so thank you,” Lonsbury said.
Lonsbury says they will thank Lt. Stricker and Virginia at every major milestone in Elise’s life.
They discovered Marsh is actually one of her neighbors, and they have become fast friends.
She even changed Elise’s middle name to Virginia.