An off-duty Bay Area police officer was driving home from the movie theater with his family when he was called upon to save the life of a baby who wasn’t breathing.
After watching an action film Sunday evening Aug. 15, Gilbert Troche of the San Pablo Police was near First Street in Livermore, when his wife spotted a mother in distress, standing outside her vehicle by the curb.
“I looked to my left out of my window and I saw a lady holding her baby and she appeared to very distraught,” Troche told The Epoch Times. “She was crying and rocking back and forth.”
He pulled over behind her car, got out, and offered to help.
“I thought that maybe her car just ran out of gas,” Troche said. “She just immediately just handed me her baby.
“I could see very clearly that he was choking, that he couldn’t breathe.”
Her son’s face and lips were turning blue.
The baby opened his mouth as if to cough or cry, but no sound came out.
“I immediately leaned him over and I started doing some back slaps,” Troche said.
The officer later admitted that he was “scared to death,” as he knew that three to five minutes of asphyxia was the “red zone” and could cause brain damage.
The mother had entrusted him with her son’s life.
When back slaps weren’t working, the officer turned to his wife, who was waiting in the car, and silently mouthed the words “9-1-1,” so as not to alarm the panic-stricken mom.
Meanwhile, Troche’s 12-year-old daughter recorded the incident on her phone.
He did more back slaps, and then asked the mom to finger sweep her baby’s mouth. He saw him begin to vomit. And thankfully he began to cry.
“I used a little bit more force for the last one, and I heard a pop, and then he vomited and started crying, and that was when I knew the airway was clear,” the officer said, who then handed the boy back to his mom, who was “very thankful.”
(Courtesy of Gilbert Troche)
Once first responders arrived, Troche got back in his car and left, so as to not block traffic.
His kids, who’d watched everything unfold before their eyes, talked about the ordeal the whole day, which he said was “a really cool thing,” because they had a chance to see what police officers do on the job every day.
Troche, who was named Officer of the Year in 2018 and is a devout Catholic, believes he was “put there at that point in time for a reason.”
“What I did helped and worked, and thank God,” he added. “It could have gone a different way.”