Taunton police officer reunites with 2-year-old boy he helped save from choking at daycare

TAUNTON, Mass. — Little Joseph Teodoro may not realize the importance of Sgt. Matthew Laranjo’s quick actions that saved his life, but he will someday.

Joseph recently reunited with Laranjo, who helped save when the boy when he was choking on a piece of food at a daycare in May.

The toddler and his parents, Rafaella and Magnun Teodoro, went to the Taunton Police station on May 30 to personally thank Laranjo for helping to save Joseph’s life.

Taunton Police Chief Ed Walsh praised his police sergeant and other officers for their lifesaving actions.

“I am thrilled that little Joseph is doing better and it was very special that he came to visit us with his parents at the station,” Walsh said in a statement. “A situation like that is a parent’s worst nightmare and Sgt. Laranjo and our other responding officers were able to fall back on their training and save this boy’s life.”

At approximately 2:40 p.m. on May 9, Taunton Police officers responded to the Taunton Old Colony YMCA at 71 Cohannet St. for a report of a young child who was choking.

Laranjo was the first to arrive at the scene where the boy was choking on a piece of cantaloupe, and being assisted by a staff member.

Laranjo immediately began to render aid to Joseph, police said. After three rounds of back blows he was successfully able to dislodge the obstruction to the point where the boy could take breaths, but the obstruction was still in the child’s throat.

Taunton Police Patrolman Nathan Matos arrived a short time later and assisted in providing further aid until paramedics from the Taunton Fire Department and Brewster Ambulance arrived.

As the boy was being placed into an ambulance, he was able to fully cough up the piece of food on his own. He was taken to Morton Hospital, along with a staff member from the YMCA.

Laranjo met Joseph’s parents at the hospital and spoke to them about the incident.

Last week, when they came to visit the police station, they hugged and thanked Laranjo.

In addition to Laranjo and Matos, Patrolmen John F. Reilly III, Stephen Harrison and Patrolwoman Hannah Fonseca also responded to the call and helped at the scene.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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