Two-year-old Gauge Bonin almost became a drowning victim on July 28, but luckily his family was there to save him.
“He’s a fanatic with the pool. I saw the pool gate open, and I just knew. I took off running. As I got closer, I saw him floating in the pool with his arms out. I jumped in and I grabbed him. He was swollen. He looked like a ghost,” his mother, Blair Bonin, said.
Bonin, 19, said she felt no heartbeat or pulse on her son.
“I was freaking out. I had to get away. I called the ambulance. I was losing my mind,” she said.
Her boyfriend, Blake Boutte, 18, who her son calls “daddy,” started giving Gauge CPR. Blake’s grandmother, Faye Boutte, who Gauge calls “Maw,” began praying.
“He was swollen like a dead fish. His eyes were shut. I told Blake not to press so hard (on Gauge). It sounded to me like it was a plunger in the toilet because he was so water logged,” Boutte said.
Blake began trying to suck the water from him, which is when Gauge started responding.
“He sucked really hard, and the baby started throwing up. He threw up three times. And then he moved. I turned him on his side, and I started praying because God was so good and he answered our prayers,” Boutte said.
Boutte, who leads a prayer group at Nativity of Our Lady Catholic Church, said she “rebuked the spirt of death” from her “great-grandson.”
“I know, without a doubt, that God gets all the glory. Prayer works if you’re in touch with God. It really works if you have a relationship with Christ,” she said.
Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Lucas Plauche arrived at Boutte’s house at 2:51 p.m., three minutes after the dispatch, according to IPSO spokesman Capt. Ryan Turner.
By that point, Gauge’s coloring had started to return, Boutte said. Plauche took over CPR for Blake and brought him back to his car, planning to bring him to the hospital if the ambulance failed to arrive quickly.
Turner said the child responded to Plauche’s CPR and screamed. When the ambulance arrived, he was taken to Dauterive Hospital.
“The doctors were amazed because he said there were no chemicals in his lungs, no water and nothing in the liver. The doctor let him go the next morning,” Boutte said.
Blake told his grandmother, “I know I have the Holy Spirit in me because God used my hands. I had no idea what I was doing.”
Boutte asked Gauge if he remembered the incident after.
Gauge told her, “God was working on me. Jesus said, ‘Let’s go to my house,’ but I told him I want to go back with my mommy.”
“There is no way a baby could tell you that or make that up. No way he knows about going to Jesus’ house. It’s a miracle. It could have been a tragedy,” Boutte said.
Local pediatrician Dr. Maurice Fagout said sometimes a person has an instinct for the body to shut its own airway down to avoid water being pushed into the lungs. It’s called laryngospasm.
“Most of them end up inhaling the water and aspirate. In cases like this (Gauge’s), you can put those in a category of minor miracles,” he said.