PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Three Clackamas County deputies were honored Wednesday night for their quick actions that helped save a newborn’s life.
In September 2018, parents Jessie and Kaylob took their newborn baby Audrey to the Clackamas Town Center to take pictures. Video shows the moments where she suddenly stops breathing.
While waiting for paramedics to arrive, Deputy Jonathan Zacharkiw started chest compressions while Deputy Dan Olson checked Audrey’s airway and another deputy held her head.
“It felt like eternity,” Olson said. “I remember feeling like ‘Where is fire, where are medical professionals?’ We are doing about all we can do, keep doing chest compression.”
Audrey’s parents said the deputies actions are what saved their baby’s life. she was only 8 days old at the time.
“Without them, we wouldn’t have her and that is not something we want to experience,” Kaylob said.
Six months later and the deputies say it’s a moment they will never forget.
“The worst experience of my life turned out to be the best experience I ever had,” Deputy Zacharkiw said.
Zacharkiw added that moment was “emotionally traumatic” for him.
“I went and gave my wife a hug at work, she’s a nurse, and I cried honestly,” he said.
But on Wednesday night — the mood was much lighter as the deputies were honored for their quick response by the Royal Rosarians.
KOIN 6’s Dan Tilkin presented them with the “Newsmakers of the Year” award.
“It’s an amazing honor because I feel like I was just doing my job,” Zacharkiw said. “It’s amazing to know we had a positive impact on the community.”
That impact is one that forever changed their own lives. Months later, the deputies are still checking in and visiting the now 6-month-old.
“I look at her as one of my daughters,” Olson said. “I really feel like they are a part of our family.”