We live in a world that desperately needs heroes. Unfortunately, these are in short order, and so it truly makes your day when you hear of real life heroics. The cherry on top of these heroic acts is how they come back in a heartwarming fashion. In a world filled with horrors and brutalities, stories like this cop and girl's definitely stand out and make us feel a lot better.
A Hartford, Connecticut, cop had saved a 5-year-old girl from the fire nearly 18 years ago, and they reunited this week for a very important event of her life, her college graduation. Their story will fill your heart with respect.
In the summer of 1998, Officer Peter Getz had just arrived at a burning apartment building in Hartford, Connecticut, when a firefighter handed him a 5-year-old girl who was unresponsive, not breathing at all and covered in ash, the Courant reported.
With no time to wait for an ambulance, Getz placed Josi Aponte in the back seat of his patrol car. He immediately began CPR while his partner drove the car to the hospital. It turns out that his timely actions were what saved the little girl.
Aponte, who had been in cardiac arrest, was breathing on her own by the time they reached the emergency room.
"I'm told that if he would have just waited a few more seconds for the ambulance to come in, I could have died," a grown Josi told NBC Connecticut.
Getz continued to visit Aponte while she recovered in the hospital. He brought her a teddy bear to give her some measure of comfort the day after her uncle, who had also been inside the burning apartment, succumbed to his injuries.
Josi told the paper she still has the teddy bear that Getz gave her while she was in the hospital. The two of them get together on occasion, sometimes for lunch.
"To see the outcome, to see how successful she's been, makes my heart beat faster," Getz told the paper.
"It's one of those things that touches your heart and stays with you," Getz told the Courant. "The firemen did their job, I did my job, the hospital staff did their job. As a result, we still have a beautiful young woman still on the face of the earth."
For Aponte, she remembers little of the ordeal past the thick heavy smoke and trying unsuccessfully to wake Jofrey. But for Getz, it was an experience that always stayed with him. He said, 'It's a situation that we could control, that we could foresee the outcome of.'
Getz told CNN that he "followed her progress for years" for as long as Aponte was in school. However, as will happen when everyone has a life to lead, they eventually lost touch when she and her family moved away.
Aponte reconnected with Getz two years ago, after she found an online photo of him carrying her away from the fire. She sent him a message and then he responded. From that point onwards, they've kept in touch ever since.
She has always remained grateful to him, and considered him her guardian angel. "He saved me and he's just walking out with me in his arms," Aponte told WFSB. "I'm so grateful for him because we always call him my guardian angel."
When Josi Aponte received her diploma from Eastern Connecticut State University last week, one very important guest was in the audience to cheer her on: the police officer, Peter Getz, who saved her life when she was only 5 years old.
"There are only a few moments that are so important in life," the 23-year-old Aponte told the Courant. "I wanted to share my graduation with everyone who's important to me, who have been there for me, and who helped me through tough times."
"I almost died, but I was given a second chance at life," Aponte told the Hartford Courant. "And it was because of Peter and all the authorities, everyone who came to help that day." Those are definitely true words indeed!
"I'm one cog in that wheel, from the dispatchers, to the firefighters who risked their lives to go in and bring her out," Getz told the newspaper. "We all did what [WE WERE] trained to do that day; it's not just about me.