Before they are cleared to patrol the streets, police officers learn how to administer CPR and first aid. It’s a skill they hope they never have to use, but should the need arise, they have their training to fall back on. When Georgia police officer William Eng got a call to respond to a nearby incident, he knew before he arrived what he was going to have to do.
“We need an ambulance! We need an ambulance!” a terrified Rasheen Adkins is heard saying to the police dispatcher. “My mama’s baby has stopped breathing.”
Police dispatch put out a signal for the nearest available unit to respond.
Officer William Eng went bounding up the stairs as fast as he could to get to the non-responsive newborn. He immediately started doing chest compressions.
“Once the baby was placed in my arms, my first reaction was, ‘oh my goodness’ baby’s not moving, what can I do?’ That’s when I thought, okay the right thing to do was to start doing compressions,” Eng told WTHR.
The entire dramatic ordeal was captured by the body cam he was wearing on his police uniform, which Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department later posted to their Facebook page.
When Eng ascends to the top of the third floor, he finds the mother of the infant, Tina Adkins, in hysterics. She hands the baby off to Eng who promptly holds her in his right hand and begins doing chest compressions. Adkins falls to her knees, wailing and in tears at the prospect of having lost her newborn child.
Then, miraculously, after a minute of chest compressions, the baby starts to cry.
“I saw the baby move, and I heard a little cry,” officer Eng said at a press event. “That’s when I stopped and turned it to my face and saw the eyes open, like ‘oh!’ I was so relieved!”
Baby Bella was alive and immediately transported to the hospital for further evaluation. While at the hospital, doctors told Tina Adkins that officer Eng had saved her baby’s life.
“He jumped right in and did what he had to do to save my baby, and I thank God for that,” Adkins told a room of reporters. She was reunited with officer Eng a few days after the incident at a press event. Eng received praise from all, including his commanding officer.
“Because of his compassionate and quick response, he saved the life of this little girl,” Savannah-Chatham police Sgt. Phillip Collard told CBS News.
Officer Eng wasn’t the only one recognized as a hero. Rasheen Adkins, the baby’s brother who called 911, was also honored.
Rasheen was noticeably shaken up when he spoke to the police dispatcher. Officer Eng was quick to point out that his actions were critical to getting Bella the kind of care she needed to survive. Rasheen was waiting in front of the building when Eng arrived, and directed him to the correct location.
“He was at the right place at the right time,” said baby Bella’s grandmother, speaking of officer Eng. “Sometimes angels don’t come from heaven, God has them already here. And he’s an angel.”