Add another chapter to the storied Duggar family history, already made famous on the TLC reality series “19 Kids and Counting.” Call it “Josh and John Save a Life.”
It happened last Thursday as the two oldest Duggar brothers were in the office of Josh’s Springdale, Ark., used-car dealership. The business is located on a main business strip of town, where minor traffic accidents are regular occurrences.
On Thursday one happened right in front of the dealership, a three-car fender bender that didn’t look serious. But when one of the cars pulled into the used-car lot with a woman driving and a little girl inside, things didn’t look right to Josh.
‘Something was wrong’
“I saw her pull in, and that’s when I picked up and dialed 911,” Josh, the oldest of the 19 Duggar children, told NBC News. “I knew something was wrong.”
According to 4029TV.com, 6-year-old Maddye Plascensia was in the front seat of a car driven by her grandmother, Glannetta Plascensia of Springdale. The station reported that the girl was eating a chicken nugget and was not wearing a seat belt. She also apparently hit the car’s airbag.
“This girl, just a few moments earlier, was just an ordinary little girl, and just a split second later she’s unconscious and not breathing,” John Duggar told NBC.
They brought the unconscious little girl into their office and put her on the floor, where John, a volunteer fireman, began administering CPR while they waited for the Springdale Fire Department to arrive. When first responders took over, Josh held an IV bag while John shot a video with his cell phone. (There’s no word on whether the video will be featured on an upcoming episode of “19 Kids and Counting.”)
Once Maddye was stabilized, she was airlifted to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, which is where Josie Duggar — Josh and John’s youngest sibling, who was born Dec. 10, 15 weeks premature, in a touch-and-go C-section — is being cared for. According to 4029TV.com, Jim Bob Duggar and wife Michelle visited Maddye Tuesday and reported that she was expected to recover. Video: Duggar mom says 19th birth was ‘scary’
The two brothers are the only family members staying near the family’s home in Tontitown, Ark., while their parents and siblings reside in a rented home near Little Rock to be near Josie, who remains in neonatal intensive care but is “doing very good,” Michelle Duggar told Meredith Vieira on TODAY on Jan. 28.
Josh is married and the father of an infant girl. As second-oldest boy, John stayed behind to look after his father’s businesses and watch the house.
While most are calling it a case of being in the right place at the right time, the deeply religious brothers think it’s more than chance that John was there to perform CPR and save Maddye’s life.
“I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe in divine intervention,” John told NBC. “I believe God had us here at that time to help Maddye.”
© 2013 NBCNews.com Reprints