St. James resident Denise Evans is among the recipients of the 2014 American Red Cross Heart of Missouri Chapter’s Lifesaver Awards.
“The people who are receiving our Lifesaver Awards this year and others who were nominated are extraordinary individuals,” said chapter Executive Director Dave Griffith. “These are people who make decisions to act when action is needed and those actions save lives. They do not hesitate to do what needs to be done.”
Evans will receive the Good Samaritan Lifesaver Award at the chapter’s Lifesaver Awards event on June 24 at the Capital West Event Center, 1315 Fairgrounds Road, in Jefferson City.
The Lifesaver Awards features a barbecue dinner, entertainment, a silent auction and award presentations. Tickets are available at the chapter website, www.redcross.org/hom. The chapter also will hold its annual meeting during the evening.
Evans assisted in the premature birth of a baby while traveling Nov. 3, 2013, on the Missouri River Runner Amtrak train from Jefferson City to her job as an art teacher in Belton.
When she got on the train, Evans sat across the aisle from a young couple and their preschool-age daughter who were on their way home to the state of California. Evans talked with the woman, who was feeling ill, and discovered the young mother was about 7½ month pregnant.
A short time later, Evans fell asleep, but was awakened by the sound of gushing water. She inquired about the woman and was told she had been in the restroom for about 10 minutes. Evans went to the restroom and asked through the closed door if the woman was okay. The woman was crying and replied she had just had the baby. When the woman opened the door, Evans saw the baby was blue.
She alerted the conductor and enlisted the help of a passenger who she knew was a nurse. The two used items from passengers and the train’s first aid kit to cut and tie off the umbilical cord and assist the mother. Evans cleared the baby’s mouth and airway of mucus. The mother began to go into shock. While Evans and the nurse attended the mother and baby, conductors called ahead to have an ambulance at the Warrensburg train station. The mother and baby were flown to a hospital.
Mother and child spent a week in the hospital, but were doing fine.
Other Lifesaver Award recipients include: Kara Wehmeyer, Holts Summit, Blood Services; Dezaree Curtis, Jamestown, Youth; Lt. Bruce Britt, Columbia, Firefighter (posthumously); Staff Sgt. Isaac Diaz, Ft. Leonard Wood, Military; Jefferson City Police Officers Brad King and Jason Sederwall, Law Enforcement; and Tracy Frank, Holts Summit, and Trish Adamson, Jefferson City, Medical. Tom Shands, Jamestown, is the chapter’s Volunteer of the Year.