TSA officer Cecilia Morales, a trained EMT, used her skills to help revive a 2-month-old boy who stopped breathing
Transportation Security Administration officer Cecilia Morales has only been on the job for a few weeks, but her skills as a first responder are already making an impact.
While working at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, Morales jumped into action when a young mother realized her 2-month-old son had stopped breathing while they waited to cross the security checkpoint," the TSA said in a press release on Thursday.
Once alerted to the situation, Morales shouted instructions at the mother who tried to resuscitate her baby, but Morales quickly realized she would need to get involved.
"She was so nervous and I knew if I didn't get over there, it wasn't going to be a good outcome," Morales, a former EMT, said in a statement. "I jumped over the checkpoint conveyor belt rollers and she gave me the baby. I performed the infant Heimlich maneuver on him."
It wasn't until the second time that Morales placed him face down on her arm and patted him on the back that he began to breathe.
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"The mother was too nervous and in shock to hold her son, so I carried the infant through the walkthrough [the] metal detector," Morales said.
Security footage of the incident was posted to Twitter and shows Morales hopping over the conveyor belt to reach the mother. As Morales assisted the boy, others at the checkpoint stopped what they were doing and looked on in anticipation.
"Think if she didn't work that way or the woman was before or after that mark," one Twitter user said of the rescue. "It was literally a miracle. If she was anywhere else, in the car on the way, at the gate.... anywhere else this would have been a different story."
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"I hope the baby gets the medical care needed to live," they added.
According to the British Red Cross, if a baby is not breathing and you have already called for help, you can give rescue breaths by tilting their head back and blowing five times into their mouth and nose. This can be followed by 30 chest compressions in the middle of their chest with two fingers.
Morales, who joined the TSA in October, said watching the video of her heroics was "mind-blowing."
"I saw the video afterward," she said in the statement. "It was the first time I've ever seen myself in action, saving a life. It was mind-blowing to watch. I felt that my training and experience just took over."