A mother’s hero

Published 10:52 pm Friday, September 5, 2008

Parents are often faced with tremendous odds and overcome those odds to save a child’s life, but the roles were reversed for one 16-year-old daughter who was forced to hold her mother’s life in her hands.

Delana Kelley, a junior at Red Level High School, used CPR training gained from her school to resuscitate her mother and sustain her life for close to 20 minutes until emergency personnel arrived on the scene Tues., Aug. 26.

“Our school did a CPR program,” she said. “We absolutely must complete the training. If we do not have our CPR license, then we are not allowed to graduate. They taught us what to do during various situations with diabetic. If I had not known what to do, then I would have freaked out.”

Jeanette Cobb, Delana’s mother, said she in thankful for her daughter’s strength and the training that saved her life.

“You just do not find many 16-year-olds that would be able to remain calm and perform CPR to save their mother’s life,” she said. “If the shoe was on the other foot, and I had to perform CPR on her, I do not think I could have been so calm.”

Cobb said she had been feeling ill for the most of the day and planned to visit the emergency room.

“I had been to the doctor 12 days prior to the incident because I had been feeling dizzy,” she said. “I had also passed out a few times and I knew something was wrong. I had been set up for a heart catheter, but I had not worked up the nerve to actually go through with the surgery. I had told my sister-in-law, Katina, that I was not feeling well. I remember going to town around 4 p.m. and that is the last thing I remember before it all happened.”

Katina Kelley said she knew something was wrong when Jeanette stopped responding over the phone.

“She was on the phone with me and we were talking about going to the emergency room,” Kelley said. “We were in the middle of our conversation and the phone went dead. I tried to call her back, but there was no answer. I called her mother, who lives right down the road, to ask someone to check on her.”

Cobb said Kelley’s phone call was the first step toward saving her life Tuesday night.

“If it was not for her phone call, then my brother would not have come down to my house,” Cobb said.

Delana Kelley recalled the first time she witnessed her mother lying on the concrete driveway that Tuesday night.

“My uncle went down to our house and, as his wife Veronica told me, he was walking around outside the trailer about to go inside and he felt something brush his leg,” Kelley said. “He called her to come and see what was there. She turned on the headlights so that she could see and they found my mother lying there. My uncle could not find a pulse so he picked her up and rushed her to my grandmother’s house.”

“Veronica got on the phone and called 911,” she added. “The operator told Veronica that we had to begin emergency CPR immediately if we didn’t want to lose her. That is when I came in and did the whole CPR process.”

Cobb said she is still baffled that her brother was able to carry her nearly a mile down the road to receive help.

“Keith had and still has an injured back,” she said. “He told me the next day that he did not know where his strength came from that night. He told me I was dead weight.

“He kept saying that I was not going to die on him,” she added. “Not that day. He later said that he knew the strength must have came from God.”

Cobb said doctors later discovered that she had experienced heart failure due to a blockage inside her heart.

“They discovered that I had a blockage in my heart, but I had also sustained a concussion to my face and the back of my head,” she said. “When I passed out I hit the side of the car with my face and landed on the ground.”

Cobb said that many people came together to save her life Tuesday night.

“I would just like to thank the Andalusia EMS, Ernie Cleveland and Dawn and David Anderson,” she said. “Without their help I would not be sitting here today.”