RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Ohio — Jacoby Rucker may be little, but his mom, Mary Ann Rucker, knew right away that her 2-week-old son was a fighter.
“He’s just strong all the way around,” she said.
Jacoby was premature, he was born at 34 weeks.
“They monitored him for a little bit to make sure he was okay,” said Rucker. “They didn’t have to hook him up to anything when he was born.”
She said in his 2-weeks of life, he has shown he has a sweet disposition.
“He is a really calm, little baby,” said Rucker. “ He’s just really content, quiet.”
That is why when Rucker heard a noise at her Richmond Heights’ home Friday afternoon she was surprised.
“He just made a noise that I wasn’t use to hearing. I never heard the scream before I jumped up to look and he started turning purple,” she said.
Jacoby wasn’t breathing. Rucker immediately dialed 911 and did the little CPR she knew.
“It was scary, the time passing by, it felt so long,” said Rucker.
In reality, it took less than 5 minutes for Richmond Heights’ Police Sgt. Greg Patterson to get to Rucker’s home.
“I ended up being the first one on the scene. I ran to the front door. When I got to the house, the mother came running out the front door with the baby in her hands,” said Patterson. “I could immediately see that the baby's face was blue.”
Patterson has been with Richmond Heights Police for nearly 9 years. He said he has administered CPR before, but never on a baby.
“I mean, we all of us go through basic CPR, lifesaver training, all of that. You hope that you never have to use it, but then you get that call,” he said.
The training immediately kicked in.
“I sat down on the chair, confirmed that he wasn't breathing, began chest compressions, eventually flipped him over my hand, gave him five back blows to his back,” said Sgt. Patterson.
That’s when Jacoby coughed up the fluid stuck in his throat.
“He made another little cry and I could see the colors starting to come back into his face and I could tell, at that time, that he was breathing again,” he said.
Rucker felt immediate relief.
“I was terrified I have never experienced anything like that before,” she said. “He told me ‘calm down, relax, it’s okay, he’s breathing.’”
After a couple of days in the hospital, doctors determined Jacoby is perfectly okay.
“A little milk came back up and that was probably what caused him to choke. It went back down the wrong way,” she said.
Patterson said he doesn’t consider himself a hero.
“Not really, no. Like I said, anybody else would have got there before me would have done the same thing. I was just lucky enough to be the one to get there first and help out,” he said.
But Rucker said she is eternally grateful that he was the one to answer her call and give her fighter a fighting chance.
“Thank you to Richmond Heights Police Department, and EMS, and Mr. Patterson for doing such a wonderful job, just thank you I’m grateful to everyone who helped out,” she said. “The only thing I can do is just tell him thank you because he reacted really quickly and he saved my baby’s life and I’m forever thankful for that.”
Rucker said she wants to stress the importance of learning CPR.
To find a class near you just head here.