Police Officer Saves Baby's Life, Attends Her Wedding 20 Years Later

"This is one job you don't forget about."

   
New York police officer Capt. Joseph Barca first met Shammarah Hamideh 20 years ago, when she was two months old and choking to death. Barca saved her life that day, and now, two decades later, he's back--not to rescue her, but to watch her get married.

"He's very considerate," Hamideh told the Journal News. "Every year on my birthday, he sends me a card and a check. They treat me like I'm their daughter."

Hamideh will marry in Chicago later this month. Barca is set to attend with his wife, Helen; he'll have the opportunity to celebrate Hamideh's big day--a day that, were it not for him, Hamideh might not have survived to see.

Facebook, Yonkers Police Dept.
On Dec. 28, 1993, Barca responded to a call about a two-month-old girl who wasn't breathing. Rushing to her Linden Street home, Barca took the baby from her father, Mahmoud Hamideh, and struck her on the back and took resuscitative measures until she coughed up a wad of mucus.

"By the time she was in the emergency room, she was breathing on her own," Barca told the newspaper.

Now, Barca says that Hamideh's parents (who are Palestinian-American) refer to him as her American father. And when Hamideh marries on Aug. 17, he'll get to see the tangible, life-changing impact of his work.

"This is one job you don't forget about," Barca said of that night in 1993, and from the sound of it, neither did the girl he rescued.

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