Children's Health

1 year after saving her life, Texas police officer has tea party with toddler who choked on penny

  • tea party 1 chelle cates photography

     (Courtesy Chelle Cates Photography)

  • tea party 2 chelle cates photography

     (Courtesy Chelle Cates Photography)

  • tea party 3 chelle cates photography.jpg

     (Courtesy Chelle Cates Photography)

A Dallas police officer whose quick thinking made headlines last summer recently had tea with the little girl whom he saved from choking on a coin. The party commemorated the one-year anniversary of the life-saving maneuver and the pair’s meeting, reported.

In July 2015, 22-month-old Bexley Norvell accidentally swallowed a penny. Her mother, Tammy Norvell, called 911 when she saw her daughter’s lips turning blue. Rowlett police officer Patrick Ray had logged off his patrol car’s computer when a call went out to tend to an unresponsive toddler nearby. Ray clocked back in and raced to the scene, the news station reported.

“It was the scariest thing to hand her over to somebody I didn’t know, but I put all my faith and all my trust in him that he knew what to do,” Norvell told

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Ray, who has two young sons of his own, began checking for airway blockages until Bexley started breathing again. A body camera reveals him revitalizing her until paramedics arrived.

“Open your mouth. Open your mouth,” he can be heard saying in the recording. “Thatta girl! Thatta girl!”

An X-ray later revealed she had swallowed a penny. Norvell still does not know where Bexley found it.  Later, Ray visited Bexley in the hospital, and Norvell thanked him in a Facebook post.

“I can’t repay him,” Norvell told in 2015. “There’s no way. There’s no way.”

To mark the one-year anniversary of the rescue, Norvell contacted local photographer Chelle Cates to photograph the two having a tea party.