Police officer Jessie Ferreira Cavallo said she was on her way to work Friday afternoon when she saw a boy climb up over a guardrail and jump several feet from an overpass onto concrete below.
“Everything happened so fast and I think my adrenaline was pumping so high,” she said. “He just climbed up and jumped off.”
Ferreira Cavallo, with the Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., department, said she immediately parked her car on the shoulder, stuffed her pockets with first-aid materials from her car and then jumped after the boy, who she said looked like a young teenager.
“I wasn’t thinking too much,” she said. “I just knew, when I looked down and saw him … he looked dead. I couldn’t see anything other than blood. I thought to myself, ‘He needs help. I need to help him.'”
She said another woman, in a military uniform, also stopped to help.
“Both me and her together, we were able to aid him and assist him,” she said.
The boy was unresponsive, she said, and they put a neck brace and a splint on him, and checked his airway.
“We were talking to each other like we worked together,” she said of the other woman.
After some time, the boy opened his eyes, but was mostly non-responsive, Ferreira Cavallo said.
“I was talking,” she said. “He wasn’t really responding back.”
Police and an ambulance transported the boy to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y. A call to the hospital was not immediately returned Sunday and the boy’s condition was unknown.
It wasn’t until Saturday, she said, that Ferreira Cavallo realized what she had done.
“Friday, after this whole thing happened, I went to work and worked to 11 p.m.,” she said. “I didn’t realize what was going on until yesterday. That’s when it hit me. I didn’t realize how high it was. It seemed doable. It didn’t seem that high. I thought I jumped over a brick wall, or a cement barrier. It was so fast. It was more like tunnel vision. I saw the boy and I needed to get to him. I didn’t see anything else.”
She was heading to the hospital soon to visit the boy.
“I really want to know how he is doing,” she said. “I don’t know anything about him. I don’t know his name or anything.”
She said she hoped the hospital lets her see him.
“I just hope that he’s doing well,” she said. “I just want to give him a hug.”
This isn’t the first time Ferreira Cavallo has saved a life. The 28-year-old officer said she has received about six lifesaving awards in her seven years as a police officer.
While working as a Mount Vernon officer, she saved an elderly man after a heart attack by using a defibrillator and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and she received several awards in Hastings for administering naloxone in heroin overdoses.
She has also been recognized for undercover work with the FBI and a county task force.