A now-viral photo shows a young girl having a tea party with a Texas police officer to thank the one-year anniversary of him saving her life.
Last year, Bexley Norvell, had swallowed a coin, leading her to choke on the object. CBS DFW reported that when Rowlett Police Department Senior Patrol Officer Patrick Ray, the officer in the picture, arrived on the scene, he saw a woman holding the girl’s body.
Ray used his first aid training to clear the girl’s airway of the small coin, and she was able to breathe again.
The mother of the child, Tammy Norvell, thanked Ray, according to the City of Rowlett.
“[B]ecause of this man, [I] got to see my princess turn two!” Norvell wrote in a Facebook post. “I didn’t miss her 1st year of preschool with her twin brother! Because of this officer, we had pink toys at Christmas, not just blue ones. Because of this hero, I get to kiss her and tell her ‘goodnight’ every night!”
Norvell said she thinks about her daughter’s near-death experience on a daily basis.
She said the day “made me really appreciate this fragile little thing called ‘life’ so much more,” and meanwhile, getting to know Ray and his family “has just been the cherry on the top.”
“Supporting these men and women, you support safety for America and a safer future for our children,” Norvell wrote, adding that she hopes her story can help people “gain respect for the men and women in blue.”
Ray, who has two children of his own, said during the rescue, he could only think of his kids.
Ray’s police body-camera captured the moment he rescued the girl. “The stars just happened to align right,” he explained.
“What makes it special is from here on out, I get to see her grow up,” Ray told CBS.