South Carolina deputy saves choking 12-day-old infant after stopping speeding vehicle

A South Carolina sheriff’s deputy is being hailed as a hero after a dramatic video showed how his quick thinking saved the life of a 12-day-old baby girl last month.

Deputy W. Kimbro with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office pulled a vehicle over on June 11 in the Summerville area for speeding. After the car stopped, one of the passengers exited and explained to Kimbro that they were rushing a small infant to hospital after she was found choking and had stopped breathing.

Kimbro immediately jumped into action, “Let me have the baby.”

In the footage released Thursday, the deputy was captured on his own body cam feeling for a pulse before beginning to massage 12-day-old Riley’s chest. He attempts to open the child’s airway by lifting her neck and inserting his finger in her mouth.

“As long as she’s crying like that she’s breathing,” he can be heard saying.

According to the girl’s mother, the infant was in her bassinet sleeping when she went to go take a shower. The woman’s stepmother alerted her when she said that the baby was choking on what might have been milk.

“Her lips are a little blue, I’m worried about her circulation,” Kimbro could be heard telling another deputy.

“Come on, come on baby. She’s breathing as long as she’s crying like that she’s breathing but I’m worried about her because it looks like she’s going in and out,” he continued.

The infant can be seen making small movements and crying every so often but there is one point in the video where she appears to stop moving altogether.

Kimbro clears her airway of saliva and continues to tap on her chest to keep her awake. Again, the infant starts to cry.

“She’s okay, I think she’s going to be okay,” Kimbro said.

The newborn’s chest begins to move and the deputy seems confident that she can now breathe. She makes a dramatic movement and stretches her arms out, appearing to signal she’s okay.

“I didn’t feel a heartbeat earlier so I started massaging her heart and now I feel it’s real strong now,” Kimbro told the worried mother.

EMS arrived on the scene shortly after and took over.

“Because of Deputy Kimbro’s steadfast, professional and heroic response, the 12-day old baby was able to live. Please join us in congratulating Deputy Kimbro for his gallant actions that prolonged human life,” the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.

Deputy Kimbro was awarded the “Life-Saving Medal” for his actions.


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