A New Mexico State Police officer has been hailed as a hero for his quick actions in assisting an infant who was struggling to breathe after being born in a car.
On July 24, Officer Ismael Perez attempted to conduct a routine traffic stop in Deming, New Mexico. Perez explained, “I saw a car run the red light. So when I went to pull it over, I pulled into the hospital.” Perez continued, “I could hear over the radio they were mentioning something on the police radio about them needing an escort.”
The driver of the car, Miguel Covarrubias, had already dialed 911 in a state of distress. His wife had unexpectedly given birth in the vehicle while they were en route to the hospital, and their newborn baby was not breathing. Upon entering the hospital parking lot, Covarrubias urgently informed Perez of the situation.
Initially, Perez assumed it was a toddler in distress. He recalled, “I thought it was a toddler. From what I could hear on the radio, it sounded like a toddler. So in my mind at all, a toddler was choking on something.” Perez further explained, “As soon as I opened the door, I see a newborn baby on the seat lying there motionless. It kind of threw me off for a slight second.”
Without hesitation, Perez began gently patting the infant’s back to stimulate breathing. The entire incident was captured by his body camera and subsequently shared on the New Mexico State Police Facebook page.
“I have three kids of my own, so I’ve seen the doctors do that with my daughters because they came out of the womb the same way and no crying or anything. So I did the same thing,” Perez explained.
Thanks to Perez’s swift actions, the newborn boy, Miguel Jr., began crying, a positive sign of improved breathing. Hospital staff promptly arrived to provide assistance to both the mother and baby.
Miguel Covarrubias expressed his gratitude towards Officer Perez for his invaluable help. He stated, “It was like a sense of relief, you know, because I knew someone that knew what they were doing was helping. To me, in my eyes, he’s a hero. He helped me in what I would say was one of the scariest moments in my life.”
Covarrubias also extended his thanks to the divine, acknowledging that everything had turned out well, with both mother and baby in good health and having been discharged from the hospital. He remarked, “It lined up perfectly to where everything turned out OK. So it was and is by the grace of God.”