Jane Pappalardo was anxiously awaiting the birth of her second child in August 2017. The 30-year-old and her husband believed they’d made all the necessary preparations, but the baby had other plans.
Jane unexpectedly started having painful contractions around 11:50 p.m. at her Mount Sinai, New York, home. As her husband, Mike, hurriedly packed the car to leave for the hospital, they realized she was already in the late stages of labor.
“I was coming down the stairs and I felt like I had to push,” she told CBS New York in 2017.
Mike called 911, and police and EMTs rushed to the Pappalardos home.
A Mount Sinai man helped his wife deliver their baby inside their kitchen.
“We did a lot to prepare ourselves for this birth,” Jane told Newsday in 2017. “We thought we knew when to go to the hospital, but everything happened so quickly.”
Things happened so quickly that emergency services didn’t have time to get there before Jane was ready to deliver the baby. Mike followed the directions the dispatcher gave him over the phone, delivering their child in their home.
But the birth wasn’t without complication. The baby was born with its umbilical cord wrapped around its neck, and wasn’t breathing.
Even after Mike unwrapped the cord, the baby wasn’t responding. They felt their hearts sinking, and as the situation was growing increasingly desperate, Suffolk County police officer Jon-Erik Negron arrived at their home.
Negron took the baby from Mike’s hands and assessed the situation quickly.
“It was scary, but Jon came in and he was calm and knew what to do,” Mike told Newsday. “It made all the difference.”
Negron used a plastic syringe in the couple’s kitchen and cleared the infant’s airway. The newborn, which the couple named Bryce, took his first breath in Negron’s arms.
“I’m just happy to play a role and I’m happy to always be there and always help because I know Bryce is going to grow up to do great things,” Negron said in a police department Facebook post.
The family was overwhelmed with gratitude. They’ve kept in touch with the officer in the year that followed their encounter, and on June 23, officially welcomed him into the family.
Mike and Jane named Negron as baby Bryce’s godfather.
“This is probably the most meaningful thing that will happen to me on this job and it exceeded all expectations,” Negron told Newsday.
For the couple, the decision was an easy one. Negron has remained an active and interested member of Bryce’s life since the day the baby was born, and the Pappalardos don’t want that to change.
“He’s been there for Bryce since his first breath,” Mike said. “We’re really lucky to have Jon in our lives.”