38ºF

Deputy, woman who saved 1-year-old's life to be recognized

The woman is a surgical nurse and a mother of three

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – The off-duty deputy and the woman who assisted him in saving the life of a 1-year-old at Smith Mountain Lake will both be recognized for their heroic efforts.

Brandi Hudson, a surgical nurse and mother of three from Altavista, Virginia helped Corporal Sonny Daniels, a 7-year veteran with the Bedford County Sheriff's Office, save the life of the child.

Daniels heard a woman screaming while carrying a small child out of the water, and immediately ran to the shoreline and found the woman, holding her lifeless child. 

"I just took off running. I don't remember running. I just remember grabbing the child," said Daniels, holding back tears. "...and he wasn't breathing. I knew there were way too many people watching. I didn't want that outcome at all."

In less than 10 minutes, the deputy and Hudson brought the 1-year-old boy back to life with the help of Hudson, performing C.P.R. until paramedics arrived. 

After assisting Daniels, Hudson left the scene without giving her name and wasn't identified until days later.

"Air started moving in its nostrils and I can hear water moving. I gave another set and the child started breathing out through his mouth, so I put him into a recover position and was able to get more water out, and he started moaning."

A month ago, a two-year old boy drowned in Smith Mountain Lake, leaving deputies devastated.

"It's rare we get a good outcome like that in a drowning, and I think I was put at the right place for a reason that day. No doubt in my mind," said Cpl. Daniels.

The Corporal hasn't seen the family since Sunday, but would like a reunion. 

"At some point, I want to see the child again, because it's a life-changing experience for everyone and I just hope they're doing well," said Cpl. Daniels.

Hudson and Daniels will be recognized by Sheriff Brown in an awards ceremony in the near future. 

"I am fortunate, and the citizens of Bedford County are fortunate, to have individuals like Cpl. Sonny Daniels working for them, being out on the roads," said Sheriff Mike Brown. 


About the Authors: