On Nov. 29 at approximately 9:24 p.m., Patterson Police quickly responded to a call of an infant struggling to breathe. Body cam footage of the incident was shared to the Patterson Police Services Facebook page showing Deputy Callahan rushing into the house of Monica Garcia and Benito Gomez, whose 3-week-old son, Alexander Gomez, had been having trouble breathing for almost two minutes before officers were able to save him.
Garcia, the infant’s mother, shared details of the emotional situation.
“My baby was crying non-stop, and doctors had suggested I give him gripe water to help with any discomfort,” Garcia stated. “I only gave him a few drops and he started choking. He had been crying so much and immediately stopped.”
Gripe water is used for babies who are experiencing discomfort from gassiness to teething pain. The herbs in the water are thought to help with digestion. However, the child started to turn purple and white. He was choking on the gripe water.
Both Garcia and Gomez are required to know how to perform infant CPR, but in the moment, they were caught off guard and panic set in. They were helpless.
“I was completely worried and called 911. We have both been trained for CPR, but we were panicked and so scared that he was not breathing. Our jobs require us to know infant CPR, we have permits, but we completely forgot; we knew what to do but we were just gone,” Garcia shared of the harrowing ordeal.
Video footage shows Deputy Callahan taking the infant, flipping him over in his hands, and carefully, but forcefully, hitting the child on the back. He does this repeatedly until the child starts to cry again.
Garcia said she was overcome with joy at the sound of Alexander’s cries.
“I was thinking the worst and when I heard him cry my soul came back. After they saved him, it was just the best thing ever. I would rather him cry all night than experience that again.”
The first responders on the call, including Deputy Callahan, explained how to handle the emergency, should it ever happen again. Garcia was thankful for their swift response and their advice.
“I am so glad they got here so fast. This is something we learned, and we feel grateful. The officer is a hero, and I will never forget him or the EMTs and firefighters. I am so thankful.“
Garcia gave an update on her son saying, “he has been doing great and acting like a normal baby.”