NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — It’s been more than 20 years since they’ve seen each other, but on Friday, a woman and the retired Norfolk police officer who saved her life as a child were finally reunited.
10 On Your Side was there for the emotional reunion to see the special bond they share after all these years.
“I get to see her again after 24 years,” Officer Harry Lucky Watkins said. “That’s a long time. I’ll never forget it, never ever. I stopped the cars and told people to come across, and the lady was there with a bunch of other people trying to cross the street, and she wasn’t moving. She just started screaming and her other daughter started screaming. I walked over there and she said, ‘my daughter’s got a heart monitor, she’s not breathing.'”
Officer Watkins is now retired, and Kodie Ferro and her family have been living in Ohio for 20 years. But they were in Norfolk Friday to reunite near the place where they all met. They could smile because of what took place that day in 1991. At the time, Ferro was 4-months-old and Officer Watkins was directing traffic for the Ocean View Festival.
“He knelt down, right in the middle of Ocean View Avenue, on one knee, and he held Kodie in one arm like this, and he just started giving her CPR,” said Bonnie Ferro, Kodie’s mother. “All of a sudden, she took one big breath. We tell everybody the story about Harry, because if it wasn’t for Harry, Kodie wouldn’t be here. She was purple.”
Kodie doesn’t remember that day, but she’s been told the story many times.
“I feel like I’ve been connected to him for 24 years and I’ve just never met him,” Kodie said. “There’s really no way to describe the way I feel. I’m so grateful and thankful for you.”
For a while, the families kept in touch, but then they lost contact. So, on Friday, everyone got another second chance. After years of trying to find Officer Watkins on their own, the Ferro’s reached out to the Norfolk Police Department on Facebook to bring them all together once again.
The picture above shows Officer Watkins winning an award for his heroism. Kodie is in the middle in her mother’s arms and Officer Watkins is on the left.
Below is the letter Kodie emailed the police department:
Hello, my name is Kodie, I am 24 years old and I was born in Norfolk – I now live in Ohio. In this photograph, is myself and my mother (), another gentleman from the department (who I am assuming was, at this time, the chief of police) with Officer Harry Watkins, a member of the Norfolk City Police Department at that time (on far left) when he was given an award for saving my life when I was about 4 months old in the middle of Ocean View Ave., during the Summer of 1991. I have been trying to reconnect with him for a few years now and would be more than elated if anyone could help me get in contact with this man.