Anne Arundel County police surprised a police officer with an incredible reunion he never expected. Finally, after 12 years, he was reunited with the boy he saved from near drowning.
It was a hot day in July of 2011 when then-Detective Walter Sweeney responded to a call reporting a drowning. He immediately drove to a home in Severn where the call came from. When he arrived, he saw an unconscious infant, who was pulled out of a swimming pool.
As each second passed, the situation of the child was getting worse. Without any hesitation, Detective Sweeney performed CPR on the infant, hoping to save the life of the unconscious child.
“He was blue and his fingertips were blue and his lips were blue, and I gave him a couple of smacks on the back, and actually, before I could even start CPR, I gave him some chest compressions. Before I even got mouth to mouth, he started spitting up some of the water and breathing again, and the color started coming back,” Sweeney explained.
Sweeney’s urgent effort to save the child’s life paid off. Then 14-month-old Matthew lived and recovered to share his amazing story of survival and hail the bravery of his savior.
After Matthew recovered, he posed for a picture with Detective Sweeney but they had not seen each other since.
“They just told me that I fell in the pool and he gave me CPR, and after a couple of weeks, we went to go meet him. That’s all I heard,” Matthew said.
In a decade, a lot of events happened in Matthew and Sweeney’s lives but the single moment they shared together was exceptional and unforgettable.
It was sad that they did not have a chance to reconnect for twelve years but fate had its own way of reuniting them.
Luckily, a social media post sparked their unexpected reunion. Matthew’s grandmother saw a post about Sweeney’s promotion and noticed that it was the detective who saved her grandson’s life 12 years ago.
This made her reach out to the Anne Arundel County police department and told them the story of Matthew and Detective Sweeney.
After hearing their amazing story, the Anne Arundel County police arranged a surprise reunion that shocked Lieutenant Sweeney. After so many years, he could not believe that he would ever be reunited with a boy he saved from drowning a decade ago.
When Sweeney saw Matthew, the memories of their fateful encounter came flooding back. He was so happy and touched to see the little boy again who grew up to be a sweet, wonderful young man.
“He said do you remember me? And he looks – you can see the picture. He looks exactly the same,” Lt. Sweeney recalled. “It was him, and I’m like I know exactly who you are. So, it was very exciting. A lot of emotions kind of hidden back of how this happened.”
Though Matthew had never seen Lt. Sweeney again after he nearly drowned, his family made sure he was never forgotten. His family was very thankful to the police officer up to this day for saving Matthew’s life.
“It means everything because, without him, I wouldn’t have (my son) now. We talk about it all the time and how grateful we are,” Matthew’s mother said.
Like Sweeney, Matthew was happy and excited to meet his savior and get to know him more. “I think it’s great to meet the guy that saved my life after 12 years,” he said.
All Anne Arundel County police officers were also happy that the surprise reunion they arranged turned out to be a happy and heart-warming one. Not all police officers get to reunite with the people they save so they think Sweeney is very lucky to see Matthew again and find out how well he is doing.