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Police officers save choking 10-month-old

By WCBS Staff

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    WARETOWN, New Jersey (WCBS) — A baby in Ocean County suddenly stopped breathing, but police officers happened to be in the right place at the right time.

And they jumped into action.

Lauren McLaughlin gets her coffee from the drive-thru every day at a Dunkin’ in Waretown. Her 10-month-old son Leland comes for the ride.

“They handed me my coffee. I heard Leland make a little wheezing sound. To me, it was not normal. I’m very in sync with everything he does,” McLaughlin told CBS2’s Meg Baker on Tuesday.

She said she hopped out of the car to check on him.

“He was already white, lips purple,” McLaughlin said.

Leland was unconscious and didn’t have a pulse. His mother ripped him out of the car seat and ran inside.

“Luckily, there was three cops at table sitting there,” McLaughlin said. “The second they took him from me I fell to the ground and I just instantly started praying, ‘Please make sure that he makes it. Bring my baby back to me. I can’t lose him.’”

The officers laid Leland down on a table and were able to revive him.

“I gave some chest compressions and we saw color come back to him,” Patrolman Kyle Pimm said.

Ocean County Sheriff’s Sgt. David Deleeuw was briefing Waretown Police Lt. Scott Murphy and Patrolman Philip Calanni on a community policing assignment. Patrolman Pimm showed up to the scene to help.

“As much training as you have, you just never know when you go to go to work,” Calanni said. “I have a 2-month-old at home and a 4-year-old at home.”

“I have one the same age as he is,” Pimm said, adding seeing the scene unfold really hit home.

Leland lost consciousness again on the way to the hospital.

“He had an acid reflex moment and when he went to swallow it, that it possibly got caught in his throat,” McLaughlin said.

“You jumped into action and just ran with him. Was that your instinct?” Baker asked.

“Honestly, I can’t even say. It was just like adrenaline. I think I would have panicked if I didn’t see the police cars in the parking lot,” McLaughlin said.

Leland is fully recovered and happier than ever. The officers said they already signed him up for the junior police academy in fourth grade.

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