Richmond Police searching for escaped inmate

Retired Va. police officer reunites with woman he saved 24 years ago

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NORFOLK, Va. -- May 18th, 1991 is a day one Norfolk family will never forget.  It's a day a police officer, who is now retired, saved a baby's life. Friday, that baby, now a grown woman, surprised her hero to say thank you.

Harry Watkins still thinks about Kodie Ferro, the baby girl he saved along Oceanview Avenue 24 years ago. He said, "We just lost contact, but I always think about her. I always think about her."

Kodie, then just four and half months old, had sleep apnea. She had stopped breathing.

"When I picked her up she was lifeless and I just looked at Harry," said Bunnie Ferro, Kodie's mom. Watkins said, "She looked at me and I looked at her. Eye contact. You understand what I'm saying? She just started screaming."

Watkins took action and without hesitation and performed CPR on Kodie, who at that point he said was turning purple.

"Not a whole bunch you can do with a small baby," he said.  "You can`t press her chest or anything like that so I just massaged her chest and she started getting some life back into her."

Retired Norfolk police officer Harry Watkins

Retired Norfolk police officer Harry Watkins

Watkins managed to save her life.  Now a woman, Kodie flew to Norfolk from Ohio to finally to meet her hero. Kodie Ferro said, "I feel like I've been connected to him for 24 years and I've just never met him."

Watkins didn't just save one life that day.  He changed the lives of an entire family.

"I don't know if I couldn't went on from that day. I don't think that I would be here if Harry wouldn't have been there that day because I just don`t think I would've been able to move forward from that day," said Bunnie Ferro.

Kodie Ferro said, "I just wanted to thank the man that saved my life. Without you I wouldn't be here."

Before Watkins retired from the Norfolk Police Department, his fellow officers called him “Lucky.”  He always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. May 18th, 1991 proved to be one of those times.

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