Officer who saved choking baby: 'This will change me for the rest of my life'

Greenville, Ga. officer saves baby's life

GREENVILLE, Ga. - It isn't hard to see the bond between a Greenville, Georgia police officer and the 2-month-old baby girl he saved.

For officer Kenneth Knox, the connection with little Ma'Yavie was almost instant.

"She's not wiggling, she's not fussing," he said. "There's just nothing like it."

But the coos and sweet smile from Ma'Yavie are a far cry from the state Knox found the baby earlier this month.

Knox was responding to the baby's home after her parents made a frantic 911 call to police, telling the dispatcher their daughter couldn't breathe. By the time Knox responded, the circumstances looked grim.

"She had turned a blueish-purple and her eyes had glazed over. She was not breathing," he recounted to 11Alive's Kaitlyn Ross. "They were screaming, 'Please save my baby!' and the baby was limp."

Ma'Yavie was choking on the cereal her parents fed her an hour before. The Greenville officer laid the 2-month-old on the floor, but couldn't find a pulse. Desperate, he sucked the cereal out of her throat, and she started breathing again immediately. 

"I swear to God, that just for a second, she looked up at me and smiled," Knox said. Still shaken from the experience, he wrote about the incident on his Facebook page, saying when Ma'Yavie started crying, it was music to his ears. The post has since garnered tens-of-thousands of shares.

PHOTOS: Georgia officer saves baby's life

Knox said he's been an officer for 25 years, but nothing has ever come close to this experience.

"Nothing's ever touched me or changed me like this," he told WXIA. "This will change me for the rest of my life."

Shortly after the experience, Ma'Yavie's parents asked Knox to be her godfather, and it's a job he's taking seriously. He wrote on Facebook he planned to be there for high school and college graduations.

"I'll be as protective over her as if she had my last name," he said.

He's been in touch with her parents every day since he saved her life, receiving pictures and videos of her most every day. Knox said he already knows Ma'Yavie is special and he can't wait to see who she becomes.

"She may grow up to be the president or grow up to be an astronaut or a police officer," he said. "The point is she'll grow up."

(© 2016 WXIA)


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