A Hartford, Connecticut, cop had saved a 5-year-old girl from the fire nearly 18 years ago, and they reunited this week for a very important event of her life, her college graduation.
Their story will fill your heart with respect.
This photo was taken by a powerful newspaper, in June 1998. Peter Getz carried the little girl covered in ash, out of a building that was caught in the fire. Josibelk Aponte or Josi was 5 years old when the apartment in which she was with her uncle was engulfed in fire. According to Getz, when the Hartford firefighters entered the building to carry out the rescue operation, the building was covered with black smoke and there was a heavy fire outbreak.
Getz, who was a patrolman at that time, stated, "Josi wasn't breathing and didn't have a pulse when the firefighters pulled her out of the building,I took her from the firefighter and started CPR." In an interview with CNN, he told how he jumped into the back seat of his patrol car, with some recruit driving the car and they got to the hospital. He said, "She began breathing right when we pulled into the hospital."
When the fire broke in, she was in the apartment with her uncle and her mother was out for work. Her uncle passed away due to the injuries he got during the fire outburst. "I almost died, but I was given a second chance at life, And it was because of Peter and all the authorities, everyone who came to help that day, " Aponte told the Hartford Courant.
The photo that was taken by the Courant, in which Getz is seen carrying the girl, was pinned on his desk until his retirement. Getz has 2 children who are a couple of years older than Josi and she reminded him of them a lot.
"I followed her progress for years in the school system," Getz said. "Just to make sure she was doing well." Two years ago, Josi met him inquiring about the events that unfolded that day.
On Tuesday, Josi graduated with a bachelor's degree in accounting. "There are only a few moments that are so important in life," Josi told the Courant. "I wanted to share my graduation with everyone who's important to me, who have been there for me, and who helped me through tough times."
Getz said, "I am humbled and honored to be noticed for this, But everyone, firefighters, dispatchers, hospital staff, did their part to save her". Getz retired as a detective but even after his retirement he continues to work for the well-being of the society. He is active with the local chapter of the Police Athletic League, which helps empower youth through leadership programs.