A US Customs and Border Protection officer was reunited with a young girl who he helped deliver at the US-Mexico border six years ago.
It was a chilly winter morning on December 8, 2016, when Officer J. Lott was in the midst of a typically busy day at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, a major US-Mexico border crossing between Tijuana and San Diego.
As lanes throughout the port swarmed with travelers and officers inspecting their vehicles, Lott received an emergency call about a woman in distress.
A trained Emergency Medical Technician, he arrived to discover a pregnant woman who was going into labor inside her vehicle, the agency said in a news release issued last Thursday.
“I just trusted my training,” Lott said. “I knew if I remained calm, the mother, the father, and everyone around me would stay calm. Although deep down inside I did not want to fail them.”
Baby Alexa Garcia was born breech, meaning her head was positioned to come out last, adding danger to the pressure of delivering a baby while surrounded by chaos.
After she was delivered, the emergency escalated when everyone realized Alexa was not breathing.
“She was really blue, she wasn’t breathing, and unresponsive,” Lott said. “I quickly administered chest compressions, and after about five or six, she started crying. I was already on my knees, and I just buckled. I remember saying to myself, just keep on breathing baby, just keep on breathing, please.”
Just two months before she turned six years old, Alexa and Lott got to meet again, this time under much relaxed circumstances.
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the room” at the San Ysidro Port of Entry when Alexa bounced in, smiling as she made her way toward Lott to give him a hug, according to the release. Accompanied by her parents and two siblings, and Lott, who was with his wife, the two families shared memories from that fateful day.
They also exchanged gifts. Lott received a framed photograph of himself holding Alexa on the day he delivered her, and Alexa received a teddy bear in a Customs and Border Protection uniform.
“I believe God put an angel in our hands that day, that angel saved my wife and baby’s life,” Alexa’s father said during the reunion.