FORT DRUM — A Fort Drum soldier is being credited with saving a newborn choking at a Watertown restaurant on Father’s Day.
The soldier, 2nd Lt. Shawn G. Sutter, a security manager for the 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Mountain Division, was dining with his family on Jun. 21 at a local restaurant when he came to the rescue of a three-month-old baby.
“My wife stated she heard someone scream that someone was choking,” Lt. Sutter said. “I hopped up, ran back to a group of people when I saw a woman on her knees with a baby in her hands. I said, ‘Ma’am, give me your baby.’”
After about 15 seconds of giving the infant the Heimlich maneuver, the lieutenant could feel baby Reagan breathing again and her shades of purple were turning back to her normal skin tone.
“The whole time I was giving compressions to the baby I could hear the mother behind me screaming, ‘Save my baby!’” he said. “All I could think about in that moment was, ‘Please start breathing again.’”
The family of the baby was panicked throughout the devastating event. The baby’s mother, Susan Chiarella, expressed some of her emotions while Lt. Sutter had her baby in his arms.
“In that moment I was super hysterical,” the mother said. “Once he said that she was breathing I was really relieved. He is my daughter’s hero.”