Fla. Cops Retrieve Precious Moments for Family

March 24, 2014
The woman died the next day, but family members thanked officers for allowing them to say goodbye.

BRADENTON, Fla. -- She was 95, had no pulse, was in full cardiac arrest and not breathing.

But Bradenton Police Department Sgt. John Negron said he saw all-out effort to save Jennie Sanders when he arrived at the residence in the 1200 block of Tidewater Court in Bradenton at 3:48 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, including officer Jeremy Telles frantically doing chest compressions.

"Mrs. Sanders was on the bedroom floor and Jeremy was doing chest compressions while Mrs. Sanders' son-in-law was giving her breaths," Negron said. "Jeremy had been there five minutes before I got there and I yelled, 'Let me swap out.' " He said, 'OK.' Then I did chest compressions."

Their efforts over the next 20 minutes managed to revive the woman. For their heroics, Negron and Telles were named Bradenton Police Department Officers of the Month for March, said Bradenton Police Chief Michael Radzilowski.

The rescue was unusual considering the age of the victim and the length of time it took to revive her, officers said.

After 10 more minutes of chest-to-chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, the rescuers still could not find a pulse, Negron said,

"She was completely gone. There was no pulse so we asked the family if there was a 'Do not resuscitate' order," Negron said. "They said, 'Just do what you can do.'"

Emergency medical services workers from the Bradenton Fire Department arrived and injected the patient with fluids, while Negron and Telles kept working in tandem on chest compressions.

Five minutes later, there were still no signs of life, Negron said, and he was reminded of his wife, Violette's father, Frederick Schneider, who died in his recliner in Spring Hill in October, leaving Violette no chance to say goodbye.

Suddenly, miraculously, the team got a small pulse and Sanders began breathing on her own, albeit shallowly, Negron said.

"I think because we started so quickly and worked so steadily, there was oxygen still circulating even though we couldn't get a pulse," Negron said.

Sanders was stabilized and taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital. The family was elated, Radzilowski said.

"Remarkably, she came back to life," Radzilowski said.

The revival was short-lived. Sanders died a day later, but the family told the Bradenton Police Department the extra day allowed them to say goodbye.

"The family was very grateful for the officer's actions because it allowed them the opportunity to properly pay their respects during the interim," Radzilowski said.

Negron said he was deeply moved by the experience of bringing a person back to life.

"It's satisfying knowing we gave this family an opportunity to say goodbye to their loved one," Negron said.

Copyright 2014 - The Bradenton Herald

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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