By: Scott Engle
At Tuesday night’s Montgomery City Council meeting, Police Chief James Napolitano honored one of his own for saving a child’s life.
Officer Charity Snell was about to finish her shift around 5:30 p.m. January 20 when she responded to assist the county with welfare check just north of Montgomery City Limits. A mother had called 911, saying her 1-month-old son was not breathing. The infant was born prematurely and had contracted a virus. When the mother checked on the child, he was not breathing.
Officer Snell was nearby and the first to arrive on the scene.
“The family members were hysterical, and I saw the child laying on his back on the floor,” Snell said. “I knelt down and noticed he was purple in color and I attempted to get some sort of reaction, but he was non-responsive not breathing.”
“At that time, I determined it was vital I start trying to administer CPR.”
Officer Snell continued performing CPR for over 10 minutes.
“It seemed like a really long time,” she said. “I didn’t even realize the (MCSO) deputies had arrived on scene because I was so focused on administering CPR correctly.”
Snell had begun to get a response from the infant, and continued the process until medics arrived.
The child was later transported to a hospital in The Woodlands and is now in stable condition at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, according to family members.
Chief Napolitano presented Officer Snell with the City of Montgomery Police Department Life Saving Award Tuesday night, saying he was very proud of her.
“The first thing I thought after hearing about this incident was that charity did an extremely heroic thing, and went above and beyond her duty to make sure that child stayed alive,” Napolitano said. “We’re police officers – we’re not paramedics, but luckily she’s been trained in CPR and was able to see and realize an infant needed CPR at the time and go ahead and administer it.”
“It’s always good to see an officer do the right thing and just jump in there and not ask or need permission – just do the job, get it done and walk away,” he said. “(Officer Snell) didn’t expect to get a plaque or anything else.”
Chief Napolitano said he did not even know about Officer Snell’s heroism until later, when another officer told him.