CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- When an emergency strikes, shock can set in, but one area woman says you don't have to feel powerless if you know how to help, specifically if you know CPR.
Her message is, anyone can save a life, regardless of education or age.
You just have to act.
She saved a baby's life simply because she took action.
"Everyone looked around like "what do we do?"
April 2009, nursing student Kellie Leasure and her classmate Marta Espinoza decided to study at Village Inn in Cedar Falls.
Kellie Leasure had no idea when she walked into the restaurant that she would make all the difference in a matter of life and death.
People packed the restaurant that day, nearly 200 of them. But when a server frantically called for a doctor, nurse, anyone to help, no one stood up.
So Leasure and her friend did.
"In a restaurant with the amount of people this can hold to think there wasn't anyone but Marta and I to assist is scary," Leasure said, "Really scary."
A family friend placed a call to 911.
"I need an ambulance. I need someone to Village Inn in Cedar Falls right away please," the caller said.
"We turned the corner and saw a little baby," Leasure said. "Small on the floor, pasty white. Just seemed like past the point of blue. We had to do something."
That little baby was 11-week-old Wesley Hoffman. He had a reaction to an acid reflux condition while breastfeeding that caused him to stop breathing.
Leasure and Espinoza began CPR.
"I looked around, and I could see people praying," Leasure said. "I just remember saying 'I don't care if you have to stop traffic on University Avenue, find a doctor.'"
"I just looked around and seeing such apathy, people stunned, in shock, that they were powerless, no one has to feel that way," she said.
Leasure says it actually was not her nursing classes which helped her save Wesley's life, but 10-year-old CPR training and a willing attitude
"We did the best we could with what we had and because we did something he's alive today," she said.
Four minutes after the 911 call, police officer Kimm Froning arrived and gave Wesley a big back blow which started him breathing again. But without those crucial chest compressions Leasure gave, Wesley likely would have died.
"Bottom line: if we hadn't acted, he would not be here today," Leasure said.
Now, a year and a half later, Kellie Leasure hopes that more people have learned CPR because of baby Wesley's brush with death.
"You have in your power to save a life. A half hour of your time can mean a life time to someone else."
To find out how you can learn CPR, click here.
Online Anchor: Sunny Layne