When New York police officer Joseph Barca responded to a call of an infant who had stopped breathing, he never dreamed that he would one day be a guest at the little girl’s wedding. On December 28, 1993, Barca saved the life of little Shammah Hamideh in Yonkers by performing CPR. On August 17, 2014, he watched her marry her new husband in Illinois.
When little Shammah was just two-months-old, her parents called 9-1-1 to report that she had stopped breathing. Barca happened to be less than a minute away and rushed to the family’s home. He started to perform CPR but could tell that the air wasn’t getting to her lungs. So he rolled her over and hit her hard on her back to dislodge trapped mucous. He then performed CPR in the back seat of a squad car all the way to the hospital.
Since that fateful day, Hamideh’s family has treated Barca like one of their own.
“Her father told me that he’s her dad, he gave her life the first time, but I gave her life the second time,” Barca tells NBC Chicago.
Barca has three sons and says he also counts Shammah as his daughter. Every year, he and his wife Helen send her presents and cards on Christmas and her birthday.
Hamideh, now a nursing school graduate, says Barca’s actions inspired her to pursue a career in healthcare. She was married in Chicago on August 17, with Barca and his wife among the guests.
As parents, we hope that our children will be cared for in good times and bad. While we can’t guarantee that heroes like Barca will always be just a minute away, we can ensure that our family will be provided for financially after we are gone. If you’d like to learn more about life insurance cost, get a quote from Local Life Agents today.