Deputies save infant from choking

Dep. Devalle makes friends with the infant he and Sgt. Floyd saved Tuesday.
Dep. Devalle makes friends with the infant he and Sgt. Floyd saved Tuesday.
Sgt. D. Floyd and Dep. M. Devalle with the infant girl and mother they assisted July 15.

An infant is alive thanks to the quick action of two Columbus County Sheriff’s Deputies and the child’s family on July 14.

 Sgt. D. Floyd and Dep. M. Devalle had cleared from an overdose call near Tabor City, according to CCSO spokesperson Michele Tatum, and were on patrol at the intersection of N.C. 904 and Peacock Road.

“Two private vehicles abruptly stopped in front of the deputies,” Tatum said, “and multiple people exited the vehicles.”

One individual was cradling a one-month-old infant who was non- responsive. 

“The deputies were told that the infant was choking,” Tatum said. 

Devalle and Floyd took the infant from the family member and immediately began administering back blows to clear the infant’s airway, Tatum said. The infant began breathing on her own after her airway was cleared. She was transported by Tabor City Rescue to a nearby hospital for evaluation.

Devalle and Floyd visited the family Wednesday, and delivered a gift basket from the sheriff’s office.

“We are elated to report that she is doing great,” Sheriff Jody Greene said in a press release. “If it wasn’t for Deputy Devalle and Sgt Floyd’s quick, lifesaving measures, this incident may have been tragically different.”

The family’s quick response played a major role in the rescue as well, Greene said.

“We would also like to commend this infant’s family for their role in saving her life. They were desperately seeking help to save her. We are thankful that everyone was in the right place, at the right time to save this precious little girl.”

The family’s name has not been released to protect their privacy.

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Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].