GREENVILLE, GA (WTVM) - A Greenville, GA police officer is being heralded as a hero after he saved the life of a 2-month-old baby, and he now has a special role in her life.
Veteran police officer Kenneth Knox said he was dispatched to a home on Sept. 24 for a choking child. Knox said that Ma'Yavi Parham was blue when he saw her, and her parents tried CPR themselves before calling 911.
"She has really bad acid reflux and the doctor recommended for me to put cereal & applesauce in her milk to thicken it up," says Ma'Yavi's mother, Meona Parham.
"I had fed her an hour prior to her choking we were sitting outside in my car and all of a sudden she started gasping for air and white stuff was coming out her nose and mouth," Parham continued. "I called her dad, [and] he jumped off the porch grabbed her out my arms and started blowing in her face we both didn't know what to do so I called 911 and Officer Knox was first to arrive."
Knox said he jumped out of the car as soon as he could after hearing her father scream: "Please save my baby!" Knox's post, made on Sept. 25, says:
Knox was emotional after the incident and was especially emotional the next day when he went back to the home to visit them. He said hearing Ma'Yavi's cries after she took her first breath will stay with him forever.
"People want to know what it feels like to live without hate, with pure love and not think about race, just look at that baby's face," Knox said. "That's what I feel like when I see her face. It's just pure love."
Knox's post has been shared more than 54,000 times, and many are calling the officer with a heart of gold and the sweet baby's photo truly touching. He said he initially posted the photo to field calls from the community about what happened - and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
"I wasn't really thinking about getting attention for saving her," Knox said. "I was just thinking about saving her life, so she can grow up to be whatever she wants to be."
Knox, who is also running for Meriwether County Sheriff in November, now calls Ma'Yavi his angel. He says her parents have asked him to be her godfather, and he has happily accepted the offer.
Ma'Yavi's mother, Meona Parham, is eternally grateful for Knox's presence during the time of crisis.
"I don't how much to thank you for saving my daughter's life. You are truly our hero," she wrote. "Thank you for everything! May God continue to bless you & watch over you! God sent you for a good reason & I was able to see my baby smile again. Thank you so so so much!"
He said Ma'Yavi's parents are great people and he will continue to be a part of their lives.