Two North Carolina law enforcement officers reunited with the baby they rescued from a cardiac arrest after she was released from the hospital just in time for Christmas.
Stanley County Sheriff’s Deputy Darnell Almond and State Trooper Michael McCormick saved the child last month near Lake Badin when the they responded to a call about a cardiac arrest.
Almond and McCormick were chatting with each other when the 911 call came through.
“I should have gone home, but I had gotten sidetracked talking to Trooper McCormick who had happened to be in Badin,” Almond told The Stanly News & Press.
The call came in around 10:52 about an individual in West Badin having a cardiac arrest, but no details were given. They had no idea the victim was an infant.
“When we got the call…I didn’t know at the time it was an infant,” Almond recalled. “Cardiac arrest is obviously one of our top priority calls. We were going just as fast as safely possible to get here to see what was going on and see if there was something we could do.”
Fortunately, both officers were less than a mile from the home. Almond knew right away where the location was, and McCormick didn’t hesitate to join him.
It took less than a minute to arrive at the home on Marion Street, where they approached the family who were still on the call with dispatch listening to medical instructions.
Mother Octavia Harris said that she went to get something to drink when she checked on her one-month-old daughter Ameliah, and discovered she was limp and not breathing.
When officers arrived, they found the baby on the couch unresponsive.
McCormick immediately began giving CPR while Almond checked for breathing and a pulse. McCormick recalled the child was breathing roughly once every 30 seconds.
After four to five minutes administering CPR, Badin firefighters and Stanly paramedics arrived, and immediately transported Ameliah to Atrium Health Stanly, and from there the baby was passed on again to Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte.
Almond said that the family prayed all night. “It was God who did answer the prayers,” he said. The deputy decided to stay in Badin until he received further news about the child’s condition, which thankfully came after Badin Fire Chief Terry Eudy informed him that the child started breathing normally during the ride to the hospital.
Almond has had a busy year rescuing people. Earlier, he resuscitated an individual who stopped breathing after his boat capsized in Falls Reservoir.
Medical personnel determined that Ameliah’s cardiac arrest was brought on by a severe respiratory infection that can affect young children.
The baby stayed in the hospital for a few weeks before she was discharged on Dec.1. Octavia Harris was extremely grateful to both officers’ actions, referring to them as Ameliah’s “guardian angels.”
“There’s no doubt in my mind that God had a plan and he put us there at the right place at the right time,” Almond added.
It was a special moment for everyone when the officers reunited with the healthy baby.
“That was the best Christmas gift that I could ever have, seeing Ameliah back with her family,” he said.