A Rowlett, Texas, police officer paused for “Tea Time” with a two-year-old little girl to mark the one-year anniversary of his heroic actions that saved her life.
Rowlett Police Department Senior Patrol Officer Patrick Ray responded to a 9-1-1 call last year regarding a little girl who was unresponsive after choking on a small object. As he rolled up on the scene, he observed a woman holding the lifeless body of a then 22-month-old girl.
The little girl, Bexley Norvell, had swallowed a small coin, Ray would later learn. He quickly used his first aid training and cleared the girl’s airway, allowing her to breathe again, CBSDFW reported in 2015. Bexley began crying and breathing normally.
“Today could be the day I was picking out a casket for my little girl. Every parent’s nightmare, I could be living it right now,” Bexley’s mother, Tammy Norvell, told the Dallas CBS affiliate at the time.
One year later, Ray sat down at a tiny table adorned with a tea set, table cloth and flowers to celebrate the anniversary of her renewed life.
“[B]ecause of this man, [I] got to see my princess turn two!” Norvell said in a City of Rowlett Facebook post. “I didn’t miss her 1st year of preschool with her twin brother! Because of this officer, we had pink toys at Christmas, not just blue ones. Because of this hero, I get to kiss her and tell her ‘goodnight’ every night!”
Norvell said there has not been one single day in the past year that she hasn’t thought about “that horrible moment.”
“I can’t express how blessed and thankful I am that God didn’t take her to be with Him on that day,” she said in the Facebook post.
Officer Ray, who has two small children of his own said all he could think about that day was his children. “What makes it special is from here on out, I get to see her grow up,” Ray told CBSDFW last year.
Bexley dressed up for the special tea date wearing a ruffled light-coral party dress, pearl necklace and flowers in her hair. She and her hero police officer toasted their one year anniversary with two tiny tea cups.
Facebook readers were quick to respond to the cute posting by city officials.
“This is the most heart-warming picture and story!” Judy Lamp wrote. “TY P.Ray. You are a HERO to many and someone to look up to.”
Katy Weems wrote, “Such a sweet story, God bless you and thank you for your service Cpl Ray! Praying for the RPD, and our officers across the country.”
Sue Glass Hartson also expressed her gratitude, “God Bless P.Ray and Bexley (and her family). Thank you for being there and knowing what to do. Bexley will always have P.Ray in her life.”