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Florida police officers save choking baby

Florida police officers save choking baby
Posted at 2:32 PM, Aug 03, 2018

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida — A heroic act caught on video.

A baby nearly choked to death at a Florida mall but quick-thinking officers who just happened to be nearby stepped up to save her life. 

The incident unfolded nearly two weeks ago. One-year old Lucia Graham was rescued by two Palm Beach Gardens, Florida officers who happened to be eating lunch nearby when she started choking.

"They were there for a reason and that reason was to save her life," said Ana Jaramillo de Graham, Lucia's mother.

In the surveillance video, Jaramillo de Graham can be seen with her two kids, including Lucia's toddler brother, enjoying Kid's Day at Palm Beach Gardens Mall.

"We got hungry, and like we always do, we went to Chick-fil-A," she said.

Lucia then started choking on a chicken nugget.

"She looked at me with her eyes wide open. She tried to do something with her mouth — she couldn't cough, couldn't do anything," said Jaramillo de Graham.

The mother tried a technique taught to her by her pediatrician, which involved sharp blows to the baby's back to dislodge the object. She said in a panic she must not have been performing the technique hard enough, so she started screaming for help.

Officer Robert Ayala and Officer Rafael Guadelupe rushed over right away.

"Officer Ayala stepped in, I handed her to him. He sat down and so quickly started performing what he needed to do to make sure she was OK. And I sat on the floor panicked. I just wanted to make sure she was OK," she said.

Finally, the chicken was removed and Lucia was able to breathe again.

"They're our heroes. They are the best, best angels we could've had that day at the mall," Jaramillo de Graham said.

Lucia was immediately checked by EMT staff at the mall. Despite the close call, baby Lucia is 100 percent healthy.

"They knew exactly what to do to save her life," Lucia's mother said. "So, thank you so much officers because if it wasn't for you guys, we probably, definitely wouldn't be here with our Lucia."

Jaramillo de Graham recommends all parents take classes so they can properly administer CPR or life saving techniques to children if they are choking.

On Thursday night, those officers were honored by city council and Lucia's parents.