Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
Six years is a long time, but not enough to forget helping to bring a new life into the world, especially under dire circumstances.
For the Garcia family of Mexico and a Customs and Border Patrol officer, the port of entry in San Ysidro, California, near San Diego, will forever be linked to the triumph of life, and of God.
Back in 2016, Officer J. Lott was working his normal shift when he heard over the radio that a female motorist was in distress. It turned out that the woman was in labor and, as Lott was soon to discover, the baby was breached (coming out feet and buttocks first rather than headfirst).
It is a wonderful irony that the emergency occurred in San Ysidro, which is named after the Spanish St. Isidore the Laborer, not because of the dual meaning of the word labor but of what Isidore represented in his own life.
St. Isidore, the patron saint of farmers, worked as a laborer in the 5th and 6th centuries and was renowned for approaching his less-than-glamorous tasks with kindness, dignity, and spirit of service.
Although it is not clear if Lott is a practicing Christian, he brought a similar spirit to the breached pregnancy and the execution of his duties in a job that is about as far as one can get from the lap of luxury.
“I am just happy that I was there to help,” Lott said in a CBP press release. “To be able to assist in something like that is absolutely amazing, and it’s a memory I will have the rest of my life.”
He added, “I just trusted my training. 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.”
Lucky for all involved, Lott’s training had been that of an ENT, so he was able to help the mother deliver her child. Trouble, though, was only just beginning.
The baby, a girl, was covered in an excessive amount of blood and was suffocating due to clogged nostrils, mouth, and throat. Lott acted quickly, removed the blockage, and performed life-saving care.
“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.”
The little girl did continue breathing and last week, the now-6-year-old and her family traveled to the United States to reunite with Lott. It was a meeting set up through a joint effort of the CBP and the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana.
“This is truly an outstanding demonstration of the humanitarian side of our job,” Anne Maricich, CBP Acting Director of Field Operations in San Diego, said.
An officer’s ability to maintain a level of composure, and act quickly to perform emergency medical action saved a life. Officer J. Lott demonstrates not only to the community, but to fellow employees, that CBP is a world class law enforcement agency. I appreciate our continued partnership with our friends at the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana, as this reunion would not have happened without their support.”
At the reunion, the girl, whose name is Alexa, exchanged gifts with Lott. The American officer gave his young friend a large stuffed bear which was outfitted with a CBP uniform. Alexa presented Lott with a photo of him holding a newborn Alexa.
The tears of joy flowed freely that day and, even though it was an event staged by a secular government, the presence of the Lord was not lost on the Garcia family.
According to an article at ADN America, Alexa’s father, who described Lott as having looked like an astronaut as he came toward the car decked out with a large medical bag, credited the Lord for sending Lott into Alexa’s life.
“I believe God put an angel in our hands that day, that angel saved my wife and baby’s life,” Alexa’s father said, according to ADN.