'You are a life saver': Houston mom thanks police who rescued baby
Jackie Dunham, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, August 29, 2017 9:10AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 29, 2017 2:01PM EDT
A Houston mother is showing her gratitude towards the local police officers who rescued her eight-month-old daughter after they became separated during the disastrous flooding from Hurricane Harvey this week.
Cpl. Reed Clark was participating in a high-water rescue mission with his fellow Harris County police officers in residential area of Houston on Monday. He told CTV News Channel he was steering a Jet Ski through a neighbourhood with neck-deep water flowing between the houses when he spotted a mother struggling in the currents.
“They’re walking in chest or neck-deep water and that’s when I saw a lady slip down a little bit under the water,” Clark recalled. “She had her baby and she’s holding the baby up.”
The police officer quickly turned his Jet Ski around to go and help Dajauh Zhane Henix and her baby.
The mother told CTV News Channel on Tuesday that the water was as high as her chest by the time she and her family reached the curb of the street as they tried to evacuate her mother’s home.
“We saw a constable and he was on a Jet Ski so we were like, ‘Take the baby. Take the baby’ because we didn’t know how much more water we were going to be walking into it,” Henix said from her aunt’s house in Houston.
The mother handed her daughter to Clark who told her he would take the girl to higher ground where there was a black truck with a boat waiting.
Once he brought the baby to safety, Clark said he returned to Henix to tell her where she could meet up with her daughter again at the black truck.
Henix said by the time she reached the area Clark told her about she had trouble locating the right truck where her daughter was supposed to be.
“We were all just going crazy trying to figure out where she was,” she said.
About three or four hours later, Clark was on his way back from rescuing other children who required urgent medical attention when his colleagues at the truck flagged him down and told him the eight-month-old baby’s mother still hadn’t arrived.
That’s when Clark said he notified his superior Const. Christopher E. Diaz about the missing mother. Diaz uploaded an image of Clark cradling the baby girl to Facebook with a public appeal for help in locating Henix.
“We are trying to find the mother to this baby. The mother was last seen wearing a purple shirt on South Lake Houston parkway,” the Facebook post read.
The post quickly gained traction online and was shared more than 30,000 times in just a few hours.
As she made her way to one of the emergency shelters, Henix said she also posted a photo of her daughter on her Facebook page with a message asking anyone on the east side of the city to look out for her baby and to call her if they found her.
The Facebook appeals worked and the Harris County police officers were able to track down Henix at a shelter. Clark said police transported the baby girl in a military-style Humvee to the shelter to reunite her with her waiting mother.
“Everybody was so happy. Everybody even noticed her when she walked in the shower,” Henix said.
The grateful mother posted a comment to Diaz’s original Facebook post thanking the police officers involved in rescuing her daughter.
“Thank you sooooo much for keeping her with you!! You are a life saver [heart emoji] greatly appreciated,” Henix wrote.
Although Henix and her baby are safe and dry at her aunt’s house in Houston, she said she still doesn’t know when she’ll be able to return home or to what extent it’s been damaged by the floods.