Many times when a cop pulls someone over for speeding, it’s either because the driver wasn’t paying attention to the speed limits or has a more nefarious reason for trying to get out of dodge.
But sometimes the reason is a little more complicated and has lasting ramifications, as Deputy William Kimbro with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office discovered just a little over a year ago.
It began when he stopped a car for speeding in Berkeley County, South Carolina, on June 11. The rest of the interaction was caught on his bodycam and shared by the sheriff’s office on Facebook.
“Upon stopping the vehicle, the driver immediately exited the car and exclaimed that the baby in her vehicle had stopped breathing,” the sheriff’s office shared on July 11. “Deputy W. Kimbro knew he needed to act immediately to save the baby’s life.”
“Deputy Kimbro made contact with the 12-day-old baby and her mother in the vehicle. The mother told the Deputy the baby stopped breathing after drinking a bottle. Deputy Kimbro took the baby’s limp and cyanotic body and performed lifesaving first aid. As a result, he was able to get the baby to breathe again until EMS could arrive.”
The video is hard to watch as the newborn gasps and the deputy does his best to revive her, clearing her mouth and rubbing her chest to try to get her to breathe on her own again. Thankfully, his efforts were successful, and the tiny baby pulled through.
“Because of Deputy Kimbro’s steadfast, professional and heroic response, the 12-day old baby was able to live,” the post continued. “Please join us in congratulating Deputy Kimbro for his gallant actions that prolonged human life.”
Because of his heroic intervention, Kimbro was awarded the “Life-Saving Medal” from the sheriff. But that’s not all he received as a result of the interaction: He also gained family.
Since then, he’s been a staple in the little girl named Ryleigh’s life.
“Today, one year ago, is the day that I met Ryleigh when I saved her life,” he said, according to WXIN-TV. “On May 31 was Miss Ryleigh’s 1-year-old birthday, so she had her birthday, and it was just phenomenal. We went to the birthday. And, it was just, it was great.”
But he got more than just an invitation to her celebration: The next week, the family asked him and his wife to be Ryleigh’s godparents, a request that was a lovely surprise to them both.
“I was finally able to scratch it off, and, underneath the scratcher, it says ‘Will you be my godfather?'” he recalled. “And man, sir, let me just tell you something — my jaw just dropped. And, I just had this look on her, on my face. And, I looked right at Ryleigh, who was sitting on her grandmother’s lap. And, I just said, absolutely, yes, absolutely, and my wife got the same card.”
With such a heartfelt request and lifelong connection coming from a few minutes’ interactions with a stranger, the deputy is sure there’s a little more at play than impartial happenstance.
“What was the reason that I actually went down that street, you know?” he said. “Because there were five, six, seven other streets I could have gone down.”
“You know what? As the saying goes, ‘God works in mysterious ways.'”
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