It was on July 26, just over a year ago, that Texas mom Tammy Norvell faced a nightmare scenario.
While bringing in her daughter Bexley for a nap, she suddenly noticed that the one year old’s lips were turning blue, just as she felt the girl’s body go “completely limp.”
A nightmare day turned into one that an emotional Norvell tells CBSDFW she will always celebrate, thanks to Rowlett Police Corporal Patrick Ray — who responded to the horrified mother’s 911 call within minutes.
In an intense scene captured by the officer’s body camera, Ray performed a finger sweep on the unresponsive girl, dislodging a coin that she had swallowed.
The squeak that Bexley made as she first drew breath again Ray now calls “the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard in my entire life.”
In all, it reportedly took him just 27 seconds to save the little girl’s life.
On July 17, almost a year after that near-tragic day, Bexley and her mom decided to honor Corporal Ray by inviting him to a very special “party.”
Sipping on “tea” over a plate of Oreos and Apple Jacks, photographer Chelle Cates captured the touching reunion.
Ray explains to ABC News:
“It was something that I just couldn’t turn down because I knew it was going to be really special for her mom and Bexley. I have two boys, so I don’t get to do that type of stuff you do with a little girl.
She’s a sweetheart. She’s my best friend.”
Norvell says that even at just two-years-old now, her daughter leaves no doubt about how much she cares for the man who saved her life:
“Whenever I do ask my children, ‘What do you want to pray for?’ Bexley always says, ‘Officer P. Ray. Officer P. Ray.’”
Bexley isn’t the only Norvell child that feels this way, either.
“The night of the Dallas shooting, he asked if Officer P. Ray was okay. I wasn’t ready for that question from my 5-year-old.”
After seeing such a powerful reaction in her own children, Norvell says that she was inspired to share these photos of Bexley and Ray’s tea party, as well as the story that led to it.
The grateful mom hopes that in doing so, she can shine a different light on police officers in these heated times:
“I feel that I have no words, even after a year. I hold [police officers] all in high regard, but there’s no way to repay [Ray].
I want to portray that image, that they have a softer side. If we can change one person’s image of police officers, then the world can only be better.”
Ray adds that he’s sure he’ll get some good-natured teasing from his fellow officers about his now highly-publicized tea party.
To him, though, none of that matters. He now gets to watch his new little friend grow up and have a full life of her own.
Source: independent journal
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