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Viral Video: Turkey Baster Saves Baby

Dads are so handy with tools, aren’t they? And just in time for Father’s Day comes a true inspiration: a dad who used a turkey baster to save an infant’s life.

Here’s how it happened: Bill Hogenson and his son were doing renovations on a home in Ludington, Michigan when he overheard a frantic call to 9-1-1 from the house next door. He ran over to investigate, finding two frantic babysitters and a 5-month-old Nessa Shoup.

Nessa was turning blue—and unable to breathe. Hogenson, a former marine deputy, performed CPR on the child, but her condition didn’t improve. Hogenson wracked his brain for other ideas. That’s when MacGyver-level inspiration struck from an unlikely place: the kitchen utensil drawer.

“I went into the drawer and found a turkey baster and used the turkey baster to clear her nasal passage and her airway,” Hogenson recounted to He patted her on the back, spun her around and saw a good sign: “She smiled at me, and I knew we were going to be in the good.”

Nessa’s parents, Shon Gascoigne and Robin Shoup, are thankful Hogenson was around to save the day. As Gasciogne put it, “If it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t have this beautiful baby here right now and we are forever grateful.” They also added that their daughter’s epiglottis valve was not fully developed, which put her at particular risk for choking on food and saliva.

From now on, at least, they have a solution in the form of the turkey baster. Hogenson chalks up his creativity to fatherly instincts. “Ever since then, when I see [Nessa] she gives me a smile,” he says. “It kind of gives us a bond for life.”

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