When Greenville, Georgia Patrol Officer, Lieutenant Kenneth Knox responded to a distress call in Douglas County in September last year, he had no idea that his actions would not only alter the course of his life but also that of a 2-month-old girl.
To say the least, he did not imagine that he would have a child in his life in a week’s time.
Lt. Knox was called to respond to a “child choking” call, which he instantly did.
On arrival, he found a 2-month-old girl choking on baby food. The baby was on the brink of death; she had already started turning blue and was fading fast. One of a parent’s worst nightmares is to watch your child fade away while you can do nothing to save him or her. The parents had attempted to perform CPR on the kid but she was still not getting any air.
With seconds to spare, Knox had to think and act fast. According to his training, he was supposed to perform CPR in such circumstances. However, because he had noticed that the food was deeply lodged in her throat, it felt counter-intuitive to do that. In other words, he felt that doing CPR would push the cereal further down the throat.
So he did the unexpected: he decided to suck the food out and, surprisingly, it worked.
To everyone’s joy, the child was breathing once more.
In an interview with FOX 5 news, the mother, Kristen Parham, mentioned that she had fed the baby an hour or so prior to her choking. Then, as they were sitting in the car just outside their house, the baby suddenly started gasping for air with white foam coming from her mouth and nose. She panicked and called her husband for help, who responded quickly.
When Knox arrived, he found the father in panic mode. The father pleaded with him to save the baby. He was crying hysterically, “My baby!” Knox recounted to CNN about the harrowing event, describing the plight of the father as hitting him hard.
“The Lord God Almighty touched me and I immediately knew what to do,” said Knox. Little did he know that his heroic action in the greatest moment of need would set his life on a new path a week later.
He was asked to be the baby’s godfather.
Typically, godfathers are close relatives such as uncles, grandfathers, older cousins, or the parent’s close friends. However, the unique circumstances surrounding this case justified the events that followed after.
So a week after the encounter, Ma’Yavi’s parents requested Knox be her godfather; he gladly obliged.
So when Ma’Yavi Parham grows up, her story about how she came to know her godfather will be a little more special. It is the guy that saved her life.
While talking to CNN, Ma’Yavi’s mother said, “The officer literally saved her life; nothing can be compared to what he did for her. So I am sure that he is the best person suited to be her godfather.’’
He posted a photo of himself an Ma’Yavi on Facebook, which quickly went viral.
After this fateful day, Officer Knox took to Facebook, posting several photos of the baby he calls Princess Ma’Yavi or his “angel.” In a post on Facebook that received over 60,000 shares, he recounts the harrowing moment that eventually turned out better than he had imagined.
“I did a reverse CPR on the child by sucking out the food blocking her throat. Moments later, she started breathing again. She opened her eyes, smiled at me and then starting crying. Her cries were like music to my ears.”
In another post, he wrote, “It is a privilege, honor, and pleasure to accept the new role given to me as a godfather.” He further said that he is humbled by the great gesture from the parents and he is glad that the lovely child will be forever a part of his life.
He further said that saving the little girl was his greatest accomplishment in the 25 years of law enforcement career; it made every moment of all those years worthwhile.
Finally, Knox promised to effectively play his role as the godfather. He promised to be there at every stage of her life: on her first day of school, when she graduates, when she goes to college, and even more.