‘Hunter would not be alive’
Eric Hockett does not consider himself a hero, but he knows the two police officers who saved his 4-month-old son last month are.
Hockett said he found baby Hunter not breathing and told Mindy Burgess, the baby’s mother, to call 911.
Officers Joshua Wolfe and Brent McDowell responded to the call at 5:53 a.m. June 12 at the Hockett residence at 1145 Kendall Mill Road. They found Hunter Hockett with no pulse and not breathing because of what was later determined to be a clogged artery in a lung. The officers immediately started cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
“I did not get anywhere with my CPR. Hunter would not be alive if it were not for the officers,” Hockett, 32, said Friday.
The Thomasville Police Department will honor Wolfe and McDowell July 16.
“I did what a father is supposed to do,” Hockett said. “These officers are heroes. They arrived quickly and knew what to do.”
Hunter fussed and moved about in a carriage Friday as he fought off sleep during a visit to Finch Park in Lexington.
“He’s been lucky twice,” Hockett said. “They gave him a 1 percent chance of living at the hospital. He’s here now. He’s a miracle to me. He’s been through more than I could have ever thought about.”
Wolfe, himself a 31-year-old father of two, said the rescue was his first baby rescue. And the commendation will be his first in three and-a-half years on the Thomasville police force. Hockett said the officers arrived about 5 to 6 minutes after the emergency call.
“About 3 to 4 minutes in, the baby started gasping for air,” Wolfe said. “By the time EMS left for the hospital, he was breathing on his own and had a heartbeat.”
EMS took Hunter to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, where he was treated and later released.
Police often help older adults on emergency calls, Wolfe said.
“You are trained to do this,” Wolfe said, “and they tell you that you may get there before EMS. That happens often. We can move faster than the EMS truck.”
Like Hockett, Wolfe is grateful Hunter survived.
“The commendation is nice, but I’m glad that Hunter is alive,” Wolfe said. “I’m a parent too, and it is hard to imagine something like this happening to a baby.”
Hunter is taking medications to help him recover from what happened June 12.
“Hunter went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing,” Hockett said. “They say the only thing Hunter should be doing is breathing and laying on his back. The CPR saved him. It is a world of difference from June 12.”