Almost 20 years ago on Dec 28th 1993, a sergeant on the Yonkers police force received a terrifying call, a baby had stopped breathing. Joseph Barca immediately responded and arrived at an apartment on Linden street to find the father of the baby, Mahmoud Hamideh cradling the lifeless body of his then 2-month-old-daugther.
Barca, today a police captain in the same department, described the harrowing details the night he saved her life to the Journal News:
After taking the baby from her father, Mahmoud Hamideh, [Barca] began resuscitation – but knew after two breaths the air wasn’t getting to her lungs. Barca flipped the baby over, and hit her back three or four times sharply. Out flew a wad of mucous. Barca began breathing into the girl’s mouth and nose again, and kept her blood flowing by pumping two fingers into her chest. A radio car arrived and sped the two to St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Next week, August 17th 2014 that baby, Shammarah Hamideh (now a 20-year-old nursing student) will get married in a ceremony outside Chicago, with the cop who saved her life in attendance. (This is where you can stop reading and go dab your eyes for a second.) Barca, now a police captain in the same department, described the harrowing details from the night he saved her life to the Journal News:
Barca said the baby was breathing on her own when he got her to the Emergency Room. Her father showed up moments later, Barca gave him the good news. “I said, ‘You hear that baby crying? That’s yours.'” Out of relief and joy, Mahmoud then started crying.
Since the incident, Barca has constantly kept in touch with Shammarah and her family. Barca and his wife Helen will be there when she walks down the aisle with Mohammed Salah. She plans to work as a nurse in the Chicago area.
“He’s so sweet. Every year on my birthday, he sends me a birthday card and check. They treat me like I’m their daughter.” Shammarah Hamideh told the Journal News.
Images via Yonkers Police Department