A Bronx police officer and decorated army veteran saved a 2-month-old baby girl who had stopped breathing Tuesday after her parents frantically called 911.
Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was nearby the sixth-floor Fordham Manor apartment and quickly ran to baby Adelyn Pena-Fernandez at about 11:40 a.m., police said.
"I ran upstairs and saw the mother and the father standing there over the baby, who was lying on the dining room table," said Castillo, who served as an Army Ranger for 10 years with two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan under his belt, in a statement. "The baby was blue, not breathing, unconscious. They were scared. They were really nervous."
Castillo, who had been nearby enforcing the mayor's Vision Zero Campaign with a radar gun, "made a beeline for the baby, quickly assessed the situation and calmly applied four light chest compressions," police said.
Little Adelyn's arms suddenly twitched, her fists clenched and her eyes opened, police said. She started breathing on her own and she smiled up at Castillo, police said.
Adelyn was taken to Montefiore Medical Center, where she remains in stable condition in the pediatric unit, police said.
Her parents, Sheila Pena and Victor Colon, profusely thanked the officer, police said.
"I felt like it was my kid," said Castillo, who is married with five children, in a statement."I just told myself, 'Don't be nervous. Don't be scared. Just take care of this little girl.'"
Castillo received two Purple Hearts and a presidential citation for his time in the army, police said, and has been an officer with the NYPD for four years.
"Nothing that I've ever done in my life," Castillo said, "in my military career or on this job can compare to what happened to me today."
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McClatchy-Tribune News Service