Florida deputy hailed a hero after performing life-saving CPR on baby

TAMPA, FLA. (WSVN) - When a 15-month-old toddler suddenly stopped breathing in Tampa about a month ago, a deputy jumped right into action to save the day. Now, the baby and his mother have been reunited with the very man who saved the baby’s life.

Cameras in a tax collectors office in Tampa captured the entire incident back on Nov. 4, when Deputy Steve Donaldson of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office rushed to the aid of a frantic mother, whose son was unresponsive in the office.

“And then I thought, ‘Oh, my God. I’m going to have to do CPR on this child, and I hope I don’t break him,'” said Donaldson. “You know, I was afraid I was gonna break him because infant CPR is obviously a more delicate procedure than on an adult.”

Despite his initial fears, as deputies like to say, his training kicked right in.

“He was unresponsive, so the first flat surface that I had was the ground,” he said. “So, we went straight to the ground and immediately, immediately went into compressions and infant CPR.”

By the time fire rescue arrived, 15-month-old Corey, or “CJ” as his mother likes to call him, was breathing.

But Deputy Donaldson doesn’t take all the credit.

“When I had Corey in my arms, I said a little prayer and I said, ‘God, give me the strength to save this baby,’ and, he did.'”

On Sunday, Corey was once again in Deputy Donaldson’s arms. This time, in a warm embrace.

“He’s a good baby. He doesn’t cry,” said Donaldson. “He doesn’t whine or cry or anything. He’s ticklish!”

Now a happier, healthier 15-month-old little boy, his mother can’t help but wonder: What if she hadn’t been here?

“Really, I just say thank you, because I really didn’t know that he had the training,” said Corey’s mother Shakira Nelson. “So, thank you. And he’s saying thank you, as well.”

Nelson said an ear infection and high fever were to blame for her son’s breathing incident.

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