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Legacy lives on: baby gets a second chance at life after being saved by SPD officer

Photo by: Aaliyah Young
Photo by: Aaliyah Young
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Call it the right place, right time—or maybe it was fate.

It started as a traffic chase for one Syracuse police officer and ended with saving a baby’s life.

On September 1st, officers from the SPD had just finished a traffic pursuit at the intersection of Richmond Avenue and Lakeview Avenue.

While on the scene, they found a mother desperate for help—her two-month-old had stopped breathing.

“We just heard a loud commotion from the area, looked over and we went over to that area, seeing what was going on, and I saw a woman frantic with a 2-month-old baby in her hands, lifeless,” recalled Detective AJ Phillips.

Detective Phillips formerly worked as a combat medic in the military, so he jumped into action right away.

“When I saw her frantically holding that child...that baby needed a chance to live,” said Detective Phillips. “So I gave it to her, I was just like ‘I can’t let this baby die on my watch.’”

Initially, the baby was thought to be choking, so Detective Phillips started doing back blows on the child.

She started showing signs of life several times, but could not sustain it.

With his back against the wall, Detective Phillips then performed a rescue breath on her.

“She seemed to respond really well to that,” Detective Phillips said. “About that same time, AMR (American Medical Response) had arrived, so, I turned over medical care to them.”

The baby survived.

Phillips says the situation epitomizes who police are—and what they do: help the community with any problem they may have at a moment’s notice.

Plus, with the name Legacy, she was always destined to create one of her own.

“That baby needed that second chance to live,” said Detective Phillips. “She’s an innocent victim, she had no reason to die that day. I wanted to give her that second chance to live a prosperous life.”

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Legacy’s mother, Aaliyah Young, said she is out of the hospital and recovering well.

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