EL DORADO, Kan. (KSNW) – The parents of an El Dorado baby got to thank the officer who saved their child’s life.
The incident happened in May 2015 when the 9-month-old girl choked on a hard piece of candy. The entire rescue was caught on a police body camera.
On Monday, for the first time since the rescue, the family got to tell the officer thank you.
Brandi Starns will never forget that day. “He was just yelling she’s choking, she’s choking,” said Starns.
Her daughter Caliahna was only 9 months old at the time.
“I mean I walked out and everything was fine,” Starns said. Seconds later, Starns’s baby girl couldn’t breath. As Caliahna gasped for air, Starns’s husband cried for help.
“There was someone in trouble and I needed to help them,” said El Dorado Master Patrol Officer Kenneth Temaat.
Officer Temaat was across the hall on another call when he heard the holler.
Temaat immediately ran over to the Starns’ apartment and started doing the Heimlich Maneuver on Caliahna.
Within moments, officer Temaat had saved the day and the little girl’s life, but he doesn’t consider himself a hero. “No, I think any emergency personnel who would have been there would have been able to do the same thing,” Temaat said.
The Starns said Temaat is their hero.
“I mean knowing without him, I don’t know if she would still be here,” said Starns.
On Monday, for the first time since the May rescue, the Starns, including now 17-month-old Caliahna, got to show their appreciation for Temaat.
“I really can’t even thank you enough. I honestly can’t,” Starns told Temaat.
With a smile on his face, Temaat simply told the family it was his pleasure. He then laughed and asked Caliahna if she wanted to play.
Soon after the choking incident, the family took a CPR class so they would be prepared if something similar were to happen again.
Temaat was recently awarded a life-saving medal by the El Dorado police department.