TSA officer saves baby who stopped breathing at the airport

A quick-thinking rookie Transportation Security Administration officer scrambled to save a baby who’d stopped breathing at Newark Liberty Airport, department officials said Thursday.

Cecilia Morales, who just joined the agency in late October, dashed to help a young mother whose 2-month-old son stopped breathing while at a security checkpoint at the airport on Dec. 9, TSA officials told The Post.

Morales, a veteran EMT from Newark, started shouting instructions to the mother, but knew she had to act quickly since the young woman was “so nervous” during the frightening ordeal, according to a statement released Thursday by TSA officials.

“I jumped over the checkpoint conveyor belt rollers and she gave me the baby,” Morales recalled. “I performed the infant Heimlich maneuver on him.”

TSA Officer Cecilia Morales’ 10 years’ experience as an EMT and fast response made an unforgettable impression on her new job.
TSA

Morales’ first attempt to clear the child’s airway was unsuccessful, but she kept trying and got the boy to breathe again on her second try. The child’s mother was still in shock over the scary episode, so the kind-hearted TSA officer walked the boy through the metal detector and waited for an EMT to arrive with oxygen.

“Two months on the job and she’s literally a life-saver,” said Thomas Carter, TSA’s New Jersey security director. “Officer Morales’ quick reaction and actions helped ensure that this family will have a happy holiday season. Her actions were inspiring.”

The boy’s mother said last week her son was doing well, TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein told The Post.

Newark Liberty International Airport
The mother noticed her 2-month-old baby stopped breathing at a security checkpoint.
Getty Images

Morales was not available for an interview Thursday.

It was the first time she performed the Heimlich maneuver on a child.

“I saw the video afterward,” she said. “It was the first time I’ve ever seen myself in action, saving a life. It was mind-blowing to watch. I felt that my training and experience just took over.”