An NYPD officer saved the life of an infant girl in the Bronx yesterday, reviving her from cardiac arrest with a series of chest compressions.
Details on the incident, and an interview with the officer and his superior were posted to the NYPD's Facebook page by the department's press office, DCPI. Since June, the NYPD has curated positive stories about police encounters and published them directly to Facebook, bypassing their usual method of sending out dryly-worded press releases that contain the skeletal facts of the incident.
Adelyn Pena-Fernandez, only two months old, stopped breathing yesterday in her apartment on East 196th Street and Grand Concourse at around 11:40 a.m.
"As luck would have it, Police Officer Johnny Castillo was right outside when his radio crackled with details of the job...Castillo, who has four years with the department...was training his radar gun on speeding motorists as part of the mayor’s Vision Zero initiative," the story states.
“I ran upstairs and saw the mother and the father standing there over the baby, who was lying on the dining room table,” said Castillo, 38. “The baby was blue, not breathing, unconscious. They were scared. They were really nervous.”
Castillo, an Army Ranger for 10 years who served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, made a beeline for the baby, quickly assessed the situation and calmly applied four light chest compressions.
The little girl’s arms suddenly twitched, her fists clenched, her eyes opened - breathing on her own again - and she smiled at the decorated military veteran.
What Castillo, a decorated military veteran, did for Pena-Fernandez was undoubtably extraordinary. A study in The Lancet notes that infants who have out-of-hospital cardiac arrest have a "uniformly poor" chance of survival after chest compressions; only 1.7% live.
But perhaps the NYPD lays it on a little thick here:
“Everything was just automatic,” Capt. Linda Rock-Wright, executive officer of the 52nd Precinct, said of Castillo’s actions. “I want the world to know our officers are working hard out there every day and saving babies.”
In comparison to the NYPD's Facebook story on Castillo's actions, here is the NYPD release the department sent out concerning the death of Eric Garner, who was killed last month after being placed in a chokehold by an NYPD officer:
On Thursday, July 17, 2014 at approximately 1648 hours, police observed a 43-year-old male selling untaxed cigarettes in front of 202 Bay Street within the confines of the 120 Precinct. Upon attempting to arrest the suspect for the violation, the suspect went into cardiac arrest and was transported by EMS to Richmond University Medical Center where he was pronounced DOA. The Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death. The investigation is ongoing. The deceased has been identified as Garner, Eric 43-year-old male of 50 Bond Street Staten Island NY