TELL CITY, In. (WEHT) – A reserve officer with the Tell City Police Department is being hailed as a hero for quick thinking and actions that saved an 18-month-old from choking.
The child’s mother, Anastasia Cunningham, says she is very thankful for Officer Doug Dunn’s actions. “Words just cannot express how much I appreciate him.” Officer Dunn is a 5-year veteran of the TCPD and a part-time reserve officer. He was assigned to work at Octoberfest in City Hall Park on October 7 when he says something caught his eye.
“I thought that maybe the baby dropped its blanket or whatever. And I kind of just brisked back around and I heard say ‘My baby’s not breathing,’ and that caught my attention fairly quick,” says Dunn. “I swung back around and she turned around and looked and said it again.”
Surveillance video shows the moment Cunningham’s daughter, Lyla, choked on a sucker and stopped breathing. Anastasia says she tried to get the sucker out by gently hitting her daughter’s back. “My world completely stopped. I could not breathe for myself honestly; I was terrified.”
Officer Dunn says as soon as he noticed blueness on the toddler’s lips, his training kicked in and he sprang into action. After three attempts at the Heimlich Maneuver, Lyla started breathing again. “The sucker came and hit the ground and she started crying,” says Dunn. “I knew that I had done something, because at that point, she had not made a sound. She started crying and the mother picked her up and at that point, she began regaining color.”
Cunningham calls Officer Dunn a hero, but he says it’s just what he’s trained to do.