PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – A Plano police officer is being hailed as a hero after saving a toddler who was choking on a toy.
It was a typical day for Officer Coy Clements as he rolled out of the station that day as he has been for the past 17 years. He said he had no idea the impact he would have when he came to the rescue of a family in distress.
Body-cam video showed the dramatic moments as Clements made the daring rescue.
“It came across at a time in my career where I really needed to see that it’s not all negative out here. We are doing good,” said Clements.
The officer was working traffic enforcement when he got a call about a 19-month-old toddler choking on a toy.
“There was a female laying on the front porch screaming to high Heaven. I had no idea what it was,” said Clements.
Dispatchers had already told him that the baby was dead. But the 38-year-old officer went to try and save Ariana Yousif anyway.
“She was face down. I delivered four to five palm strikes to the back of her back. At that point, I felt her mouth move under my arm,” said Clements. “She started screaming, hollering and crying. She was a little bit bloody, and I knew at the point she was back conscious.”
It was a marble that Ariana had lodged in her throat. It moved enough to help her breathe, and it took a full day later for doctors to finally get it into her stomach.
She’s now back home to an overwhelmingly grateful family.
Clements posed for a photo with the child still too young to realize she owes her life to him.
“It’s one of the better hugs I’ve gotten in a long time. It was one of those, it’s actually real,” said Clements. “I was truly considering whether I wanted to stay in this line of work. It was all based on that question of, ‘Am I really making that big a difference?'”
The officer said he gets annual training on how to save a child from choking, which is different than adult.
Clements said he has three kids, and he once had to save one of them from choking.