An off-duty sheriff’s deputy is being heralded as a hero after he helped save a little girl who nearly drowned, performing CPR and carrying her to an ambulance for other life-sustaining treatment.
The harrowing rescue unfolded on May 28, at a pool in Panama City, Florida. Jeff Haire was enjoying time with his family when he suddenly saw 4-year-old Davie’onna Howard, who was celebrating her birthday at the pool with family, being taken out of the water.
At the time, panic ensued, as the little girl seemed completely lifeless.
Haire, a deputy with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, immediately jumped into action, rushing over to help. The cop had seen drowning cases in his career and knew the symptoms Davie’onna was experiencing were grave, People reported.
“I had investigated several drownings before in my career and the ones that didn’t make it always had that foam around their nose and mouth area,” he told Today. “When I saw that on her, I just thought the worst.”
Deputy Haire started doing CPR and, after a number of rounds, finally got a heartbeat. He recalls feeling the child’s pulse instantaneously go from “0 to about 100.”
Miraculously, young Davie’onna survived the harrowing ordeal with no serious brain damage. Now, her mom, Kiara Greene, is calling Haire the family’s “guardian angel.”
In an interview with WJHG-TV, she praised Haire for saving her daughter’s life, saying that “God ordained for him to be there” at the pool that day.
“Just talking to you, I’m shaking because you know I could be planning a funeral right now for my baby and I’m not because of him,” Greene told the local outlet.
The mother has also made her gratititude known in national media appearances as well, calling her daughter’s survival a true “miracle” in an interview with Today.
“It was a miracle,” Greene said. “That’s why I call Jeff her guardian angel.”
Haire later visited Davie’onna at the hospital, where the deputy and the Howard family formed what will likely be a lifelong friendship.