Captain Joseph Barca is a hero in many ways. He had been with the Yonkers, New York City Police Force for almost 45 years in 2014 and had saved at least a dozen lives during his tenure in the police force. He also helped rescue victims of the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, CBS News reports. While he has radically changed lives over the course of his career, one of the most important appeals he has been involved in came in 1993.

On December 28, 1993, he arrived at the doorsteps of distressed parents who had called the emergency services because their 2-month-old daughter, Shammarah Hamideh, had stopped breathing. Shammarah Hamideh’s older brothers Ahmad and Ali Hamideh remember this day and remember the details very well. “I remember my mom shouting out of her lungs for my dad, ‘Shama! Shama! Shama! She’s not breathing, she’s choking!’ Lifeless, ”said his brother Ahmad Hamideh.

He was also an inspiration to Hamideh, who shared that she too would like to save people’s lives, just like Sgt. Barça. “Maybe I can be in someone’s life twenty years later just like he was,” she said. She may have many opportunities to do so since she graduated from nursing school in 2014.

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