Two police officers in Ohio were touted as heroes for saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who was choking inside her mom’s car Tuesday night. A dashcam video captured the moments Shaker Heights police officers helped the child after they saw the woman stop her car in the middle of the street.
“We saw a female exit the car, run to the passenger rear door and appear to be in some distress,” Officer Ryan Sidders told Fox 8. The two officers were identified as Alex Oklander and Ryan Sidders.
The mother, Tamica Pruitte, said “save my baby” when she saw the officers approach her vehicle. Pruitte told local media it was a miracle the two officers were there the moment the baby stopped breathing.
Pruitte said her daughter, Tyra, began choking while riding in the back seat, and she immediately stopped the car to help the infant.
“I noticed she was choking on her milk out of her nose, so I put the hazards on and got out of the car and the police came out of nowhere and helped me with the back thrusts for her to breathe,” she said, adding her baby was born prematurely and had lung problems, which sometimes led to her choking.
“Thank God for them because, if it wasn’t for them, I’d probably still be out there doing CPR on her,” Pruitte said. “That was God watching over me. … I watched it, and I was like, ‘Wow! They really helped me out there…’ When you’re a parent, and your baby’s choking, you don’t think about nothing but saving your baby’s life.”
The officers said they had no idea what happened when they saw the car stop in the middle of the road.
“We were thinking maybe the car broke down and needed a tow truck in route or something like that,” Sidders said. “Then we see the mother exit the car and run to the other side really, really quickly.”
Oklander added: “The mom seemed kind of frantic and didn’t really know what to do.”
In the video, the officers are seen grabbing the baby and put their training into action to help her breath.
“The baby had what seemed to be milk coming out of her mouth and nose. That’s when we administered the back thrusts,” Oklander told Fox 8.
After a few slaps to her back, Tyra began breathing.
“I was hoping all my training would save the baby’s life — I was praying,” Sidders said, according to News 5 Cleveland.
In the video, Sidders is heard saying: “I can hear air moving. OK, she’s moving air. OK, she’s breathing.”
“We could have easily backed up another officer at a different part of the city. We might have been there two, three minutes later and when someone isn’t breathing, two or three minutes is life or death,” he later said. “I’m glad that that mother did not have to plan out a funeral today.”