On a recent afternoon in Rowlett, Texas, Police Corporal Patrick Ray poured imaginary tea into a minuscule cup adorned with pink flowers for his 2-year-old hostess, Bexley.
The occasion for the outdoor tea party was the one-year anniversary marking the day the Rowlett officer saved Bexley Norvell’s life.
On July 26, 2015, Ray responded to the Norvells’ home after getting a call about a child in distress
Bexley, then 22 months old, became unresponsive after swallowing a small coin, which became lodged in her throat.
‘When I looked at her, I just saw these big, blue eyes looking at me. It was almost like she was telling me, “I know you’re here to help me,”’ Ray told CBS DFW after the incident.
His body camera was rolling as he went to work trying to clear the little girl’s airways.
A few minutes later, Bexley began breathing again and started crying.
Looking back on that day a year ago, the Rowlett cop, who has two children of his own, said of the moment Bexley finally drew a breath:
‘It was the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard in my entire life.’
Patrick Ray has been in the Norvells’ thoughts and prayers for the past year.
‘I won’t ever forget this man and I told his wife, “You know, I’m going to think of your husband every single day for the rest of my life,” and I hope she’s okay with that,’ Tammy Norvell, Bexley’s mother, said after the girl’s brush with death last summer.
“I feel that I have no words, even after a year,” she said. “There’s no way to repay him.”
“We’re buddies. I can watch her get married. I can watch her have a family. She could have lost her life that day, and I got super lucky,” Officer Ray said.