Fort Drum soldier performs Heimlich; saves newborn’s life

FORT DRUM, NY — 2nd Lt. Shawn G. Sutter, a security manager for the 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (LI), was dining with his family on Father’s Day, Jun. 21, 2020, at a local restaurant in Watertown, NY, when he came to the rescue of a newborn baby.

“My wife stated she heard someone scream that someone was choking,” said Sutter. “I hopped up, ran back to a group of people when I saw a woman on her knees with a baby in her hands. I said ma’am, give me your baby.”

After about 15 seconds of giving the infant the Heimlich maneuver, I could feel her breathing again and her shades of purple were turning back to her normal skin tone, added Sutter.

“The whole time I was giving compressions to the baby I could hear the mother behind me screaming, save my baby!” said Sutter. “All I could think about in that moment was, please start breathing again.”

The family of the three-month old baby (Reagan), were very panicked throughout the devastating event. Her mother, Susan Chiarella, expressed some of her emotions while Sutter had her baby in his arms.

“In that moment I was super hysterical,” said Chiarella. “Once he said that she was breathing I was really relieved. He is my daughter’s hero.”


Submitted by Sgt. Brandon Cox