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NJ Officers Help Save Choking 21-Month-Old Toddler

BRICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A New Jersey mother is thankful for two police officers who helped save her toddler's life.

In the frantic moments while her 21-month-old was choking, the woman and her husband called 911 and officers arrived within minutes, CBS2's Lisa Rozner reported Sunday.

The family lives in Brick Township in Ocean County where the mother is actually a part-time nurse. At one point she had to tap into those skills and everyone involved said her knowledge of CPR and the officers' quick response that saved the boy.

Melissa Travers gives her son, Bruce, lots of kisses these days after she feared the worst for him while at home two Sundays ago.

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Two New Jersey police officers are being praised for helping save the life of a choking toddler earlier this month. (Credit: Brick Police)

"Bruce, he was throwing up and he took a deep breath and started choking and he kind of went limp on us," Travers said. "He turned blue and his color was gone and my husband was starting to do back blows and the two of us were just panicking."

So they ran outside with their son, who did not seem to be breathing, to scream for help while also calling 911.

"And then I heard the dispatcher on the phone telling me to do CPR and I realized in that moment I had to kind of pull together and put my nurse hat on and just went for it and it was horrifying," Travers said. "So I just wrapped my hands around his little chest and started doing compressions with my thumbs and started giving him breaths through the mouth."

Travers said in the second round of breaths, Bruce started to make noise. Then Brick Township Police officers Tyler Stephenson and Kevin Docherty showed up, one of them clearing the boy's airway.

"After that, I could hear him getting some breath, very shallow, still struggling. He wasn't moving. He was limp the entire time, so I just patted him on the back a little lighter to help him cough up what he needed to and spit it out," Officer Stephenson said.

"You could tell the baby began to open his eyes, began to take deep breaths," Officer Docherty said. "It was just a great feeling that the baby seemed to be okay at the time so we were very relieved. It's a great feeling."

Bruce was monitored for a few days in the hospital, but released with a clean bill of health. This week, the partners reunited with the family to see how Bruce is doing.

"I was proud to see them all smiling and happy and Bruce in good shape," Stephenson said.

"Sometimes they don't know the outcome and we were able to give that to them. It was really special and it gave us a sense of calm," Travers added.

The mother said several members of her family plan to take a CPR class, after they saw firsthand how it can save a loved one's life.

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