KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Monday was host to a very emotional reunion. It`s not every day that a mother gets to thank the man who saves her child`s life, but for one mother, that’s exactly what happened.
“I just want to say thank you and you are our guardian angel and we pray for you and your family every day,” said Janell Stephens.
Stephens couldn`t contain her emotion as she embraced Jackson County Sheriff`s Deputy Tony Uredi as he was presented with a lifesaving award during the Jackson County legislative meeting. In chambers, it was an official recognition of the deputy`s heroism, but in the hallway, it was much more personal.
“He was there at the right place at the right time and I don`t know what I would do if Officer Uredi was not there that day and we are very, very grateful,” she said.
Fourteen-month-old Andre Coronado is an active, inquisitive little boy who, on April 12, came close to death when he suffered a seizure.
“’It was pretty scary and I didn`t know what was happening,” Stephens said.
She saw Deputy Uredi, who had stopped a hit-and-run suspect right in front of her house.
“Screaming, ‘my baby is dying!’ and I saw her carrying her little baby boy and he was limp,” Dep. Uredi said. “I was terrified as soon as I saw him.”
The child blue and not breathing, he began CPR.
“Everything started looking up from there and then he started crying and that`s when everyone else started crying,” he said.
“He was an exceptional officer that day. I think he was being more than an officer, he was being a dad,” Stephens said.
Dep. Uredi said his paternal instincts kicked in.
“Because I have a son about the same age and that`s the first thing I felt like, I was holding my own son, and I just kicked into father mode. Nothing else mattered at that point,” he said.
A sweet moment between Andre and the man who saved his life, the boy too young to understand but his parents know exactly the kind of hero Dep. Uredi is.
“We love you, we don`t know what we would have done without him. He is a great, exceptional man. An angel,” Stephens said.
Dep. Uredi was so humble and a bit uncomfortable being called a hero, saying that: “It`s a nice feeling to be recognized, but just like everybody who puts on their uniform, they do their job and do the best they can.”