OCEAN SPRINGS -- Meghan Beddingfield reached across her three daughters and hugged Jackson County deputy Nathan Fisher.
"You never know how quickly a life can be snatched away," she said through tears of gratitude.
It was emotional meeting Fisher and his partner, deputy Chris Pitalo, again, less than a week after the officers rushed to rescue her choking infant while she and her husband felt panicked and helpless.
The whole family came to the sheriff's office to meet the deputies who had saved their child Jan. 16.
That day, little Sawyer, home from the delivery room less than a week and weighing a little more than 4 pounds, did something terrifying.
The tiny baby began to choke, formula coming out her nose and mouth after her mother had fed her and put her down. Big sister Dakota Brown, 8, was the first to notice.
Dad Larry Beddingfield picked up the baby and began trying to suction the formula from her mouth. Meghan said she was in a panic and ordered her oldest daughter, 11-year-old Kylie Peterson, to call 911. They were all stunned.
A week later, Larry Beddingfield still can't talk about it without tearing up. He said it was the most hopeless he had ever felt as a father.
But Kylie followed through. Not even knowing what to say, she dialed 911 and gave the phone to her mother. Then she continued to follow Mom's directions and went outside to wait for an emergency vehicle to show up.
Sawyer was turning blue and not moving.
At the sheriff's substation on Washington Avenue, Fisher and Pitalo heard the dispatcher announce, "8-day-old baby choking on Smith Avenue" and scrambled.
"We looked like cartoon characters getting out of the building, we moved so fast, climbing over things," Fisher said.
They are partners, but they took separate cars and got better directions on the way to the small Latimer apartment complex.
Four minutes later, the men were at the door of the Beddingfields' duplex.
"The mother met us at the door with the baby," Fisher said. "You could see panic in her face."
Fisher, who has four children ages 10, 6, 4 and 2, held the baby in one hand.
He turned her on her stomach with her abdomen in his palm and gently patted her back, trying to clear her airway and get her breathing.
He patted the bottoms of her feet. He had training on infant CPR through the sheriff's department.
She began to breathe, but there was still trouble. She had aspirated the formula into her lungs. Pitalo used the suction and worked with Fisher to better clear her mouth and nose.
It sounded like angels, Fisher said, "angels coming down to her."
Acadian Ambulance drivers arrived within minutes and took Sawyer into their care. They stabilized her. Meghan Beddingfield rode in the ambulance with her baby to Ocean Springs Hospital, where the emergency room doctor told her, after looking at X-rays of Sawyer's chest, they could very easily have lost Sawyer.
Larry Beddingfield said he still can't sleep at night, recalling the intense fear from the incident.
The whole family attended a press conference Thursday to thank the deputies.
"I just wanted to tell other families, 'Don't wait. When it comes to your children, call for help,'" Meghan Beddingfield told the Sun Herald. "If we hadn't, things would be totally different.
"But God had his hand in this. Everybody worked together. He had the right people in place at the right time."