Police officers honored for saving newborn in cardiac arrest
Officers Austin Battcher, Ben Norris and Jesse Bratcher gave 6-week-old Avery CPR after her parents called 911
By News Staff
MT. WASHINGTON, Ky. — A group of police officers were honored for saving a newborn in cardiac arrest.
WAVE3 reported that Mt. Washington Police Department Officers Austin Battcher, Ben Norris and Jesse Bratcher were given the Life Saving Award after responding to a Dec. 18 call about 6-week-old Avery, who has a congenital heart defect and was found unresponsive by her parents.
Avery and her parents, Kayla Smith and Ricky Conover, had spent 17 days at the hospital after she was born, and nurses prepared them for their return home by teaching them CPR and telling them what to expect.
“We were prepared, but it still doesn’t really prepare you for what happened that night,” Smith said.
Smith said Avery was asleep in her bed when she started “gasping for air.”
“By the time I got up and picked her up she was so limp, there was nothing to her,” Smith recalled. “Her whole face, her eyes, her mouth, was already turning blue.”
Five minutes after Smith called 911, the officers arrived to help.
“She takes two deep, deep breaths, gasps for air,” Norris recalled.
Norris said the officers began switching off administering CPR to Avery before EMS arrived.
“It turns your stomach,” Battcher said. “Because it's not a call we deal with very often.”
Bratcher said the experience was emotional.
“I think the only call I’ve actually ever cried on,” he said. “Watching the ambulance take off and adrenaline jump ... I mean we didn’t really say much at all."
Avery survived and spent 10 days in the hospital before returning home.
The officers said that although they were the ones being awarded, they couldn’t take all of the credit.
“We were the first ones there, but EMS was right behind us,” Battcher said.