Maria Farias knows she came close to losing her 1-year-old son Antonio.
"I was scared," Farias, Antonio's mother, said Wednesday through an interpreter in front of her Redwood City home.
Her little baby boy went into a seizure at his aunt's home during a birthday party Sunday afternoon. He had swallowed his tongue, causing it to block his airway. In seconds, the baby boy was unconscious and had stopped breathing.
"I felt like I was going to die as well if my son couldn't live," Farias said.
The family called 911. Fortunately for them, San Mateo County Sheriff's Deputy, Sergeant Al Elzey was just four blocks away in his patrol car when he got the call.,
"When you hear of a baby that's in that kind of state, unconscious and not breathing, it makes you want to get there a little bit quicker," Elzey said.
Elzey raced to the home, arriving, he said, in 60 seconds. The family ran out to the front lawn where they handed little Antonio to Elzey. They hoped for a miracle.
"I immediately held him face down to the ground and I gave him three blows to his back," Elzey said. "Whatever was in his mouth, the blows would cause it to dislodge."
After the third pat on the back, Antonio gasped for air. Elzey's fellow deputies helped dislodge the baby's tongue from his throat.
"I continued to pat him on his back. The baby started crying and at that point we realized it was going to be a good ending," Elzey said with a big smile on his face.
Elzey, an 18 year veteran, says this is the first time he's saved a baby. The family says he's a hero, but Sergeant Elzey is too humble to call himself on.
"People say, 'Oh you're a hero.' I don't consider myself a hero. Just doing my job. Just doing what I'm trained to do," Elzey said.
"I think that he's a hero," Farias said. "He saved my son's life and I thank him for that."