TSgt Shaun Russell, Denise Willis, and SSgt Joe Stalzer
TSgt Shaun Russell, Denise Willis, and SSgt Joe Stalzer
TSgt Shaun Russell, Denise Willis, and SSgt Joe Stalzer

(MTN News-GREAT FALLS) On Thursday, 18-month old Aryanna Willis stopped breathing in a car on 10th Avenue South in Great Falls.

Aryanna’s mother, Denisse Willis, said, “She started seizing in the car, on our way home from the emergency room. My first instinct was to pull over.”

Jack Mathews and Rebecca Houle were the first people to pull over and render aid.

Jack said, “When the mother got out of the vehicle, with a limp baby in her hands, I saw that it was blue with no life in it. I just took her and the baby and got them on the ground.”

Story continues below

Rebecca called 911, and then a group of airmen from Malmstrom Air Force Base showed up.

Willis recalled, “That’s when I saw personnel from the military coming and they just took charge.”

TSgt Shaun Russell of the 341st Security Forces Support Squadron said, “We got out and grabbed the baby from her. We got the baby on the ground.”

SSgt Joseph Stalzer, 819th RED HORSE: “We were able to use the jaw-thrust maneuver to open up her airway. Then we started assessing the child to find out what the causes could have been.”

Willis explained, “She had a febrile seizure. It is caused by a rapid rise in fever.”

Russell: “I was continuing to pat her on her back, while she was laying on her left side.”

Stalzer: “She started to show signs of recovery.”

Russell: ” The other two personnel that were with me, SSgt Zachary Walgendach and SrA Aaron Salinas, they took their fleeces off and wrapped the fleeces around the baby to help her stay warm.”

Stalzer: “Shortly thereafter the paramedics arrived and took her to the hospital.”

Willis: “I am super thankful for not just the military guys that were there but I am also thankful for the civilians that pulled over without any questions.”

Russell: “It was definitely the right time at the right place. I don’t know if there would be anything more perfect timing than that.”

Aryanna is ok and is now at home resting with her mom and dad.

After the incident, Rebecca posted about it on Facebook, trying to find out the names of the airmen who stopped to help (details).