Couple looking for strangers who saved their choking baby

Image 1 of 4

A military couple visiting metro Atlanta for the holidays wants to find and thank the strangers who they said saved their baby’s life on Christmas Eve. 

Little 11-month-old Matthew Bowra stopped breathing at a restaurant on Christmas Eve and was turning blue. The Heimlich Maneuver and CPR brought him back around according to his parents, but the two strangers who saved Matthew disappeared before the family could thank them. 

Michael and Hannah Bowra want to show their gratitude to those two strangers.

“We think that he fell asleep with a little bit of rice in his mouth and in his sleep, he just swallowed wrong,” Hannah said.

Matthew is fine now. And that’s the point of this story. He had a fantastic first-ever Christmas with family in metro Atlanta. 

 “It was very special,” Hannah said.  “He got more attention than he would have otherwise.”

Michael and Hannah are both from South metro Atlanta. Michael is a captain in the U.S. Army and stationed in El Paso, Texas.

The family spent Christmas Eve at Nikko Japanese Steakhouse in Tyrone. It was after dinner when the couple was getting up to leave that they noticed Matthew was not acting right. 

“He was kind of having a tantrum,” Michael said.  That’s when Hannah noticed that he had stopped breathing and was turning blue.

Although the parents are both CPR certified, they said they felt paralyzed by what was unfolding.

Two people answered the panicked call for help in the dinning room. One used the Heimlich Maneuver to clear Matthew’s airway while the other performed CPR to restart his breathing. 

 “This was Christmas Eve and here we are with are son who is not breathing. We were supposed to just be waiting on Santa,” Hannah said.

The next day little Matthew would celebrate his first Christmas unfazed by his near-death experience.  Michael and Hannah are not unfazed. They are extremely grateful. 

 “We didn’t catch their names.  If there is anyway, we can find them.  We just want to say thanks.  We will be celebrating his first birthday next month and we had a great Christmas and it’s because of you,” Hannah said.

If that was you, or if you know who it was, contact FOX 5’s Doug Evans on his Facebook Page.