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Guardsmen come to aid of infant

Two Army National Guardsmen may have saved a baby’s life after she stopped breathing on Tuesday night.

Spc. Gabino Barreras and Sgt. Billy Gonzales, with the 27th Security Forces Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, were honored Wednesday by security forces leadership for their heroics in resuscitating the 8-month-old girl. Barreras said the honor and notoriety did not compare to Tuesday night’s events.

“No award in the world could beat those pretty brown eyes opening up and looking back at us after working so hard to help her,” he said.

Capt. Andre Kok, chief of Cannon’s Public Affairs, said the baby, whose name was not released, was home and doing fine on Wednesday night.

The incident began after Sgt. Chad Kalber and his wife fed the child a baby food for the first time, according to a news release from Cannon.

“She started having difficulties (breathing) almost immediately,” Kalber said in the news release. “After she continued to have trouble breathing and my wife noticed a rash and hives, I decided to take her to the emergency room downtown.”

The rush to Plains Regional Medical Center in Clovis ended at Cannon’s West gate, the release said, when “the family noticed the baby had practically stopped breathing.”

Barreras responded to the Kalbers’ call for help, summoning assistance and beginning chest compressions.

Sgt. Gonzales arrived soon after and began mouth-to-mouth procedures before medical personnel arrived and administered oxygen.

“After a few minutes, her breathing became regulated and she opened her eyes and started looking around,” the news release said.

The child spent Tuesday night at PRMC, but was released and returned home on Wednesday.