PEA RIDGE, Ark. (KFTA) — A couple is being recognized for saving the life of a 4-month-old baby who was left sitting in a hot car in a Walmart parking lot.
Police say concerned bystanders broke the window of the vehicle and started to work to cool down the child in the Walmart deli before authorities arrived on the scene.
Community members gave Michelle and Nathan Holt a standing ovation as they were honored with the Life-Saving Citizen Award.
Pea Ridge Police, fire, and the mayor handed over the rare award at the Pea Ridge City Council meeting for what they call a life-saving decision.
“If they had not taken the actions they took that day, we would have a very different story right now. This baby would not have survived, and we would have been working a homicide that day — no doubt about it,” says Lt. Michael Lisenbee, Public Information Officer for Pea Ridge Police.
“He [Nathan] dove right in and unlocked the door for me to get the baby,” Michelle Holt describes the incident. “Him and I were pretty emotional the first week or so after this.”
On Tuesday Police released this video surveillance of the incident.
The baby was inside the car for 45 minutes. The heat index at the time around 105 degrees.
“The baby was in really bad shape, it wasn’t breathing. It was struggling to stay coherent and awake,” Lisenbee said.
Holt says while she didn’t need the recognition, she’s hopeful it can remind people to be more cognizant of their surroundings.
“For this full-time mom saying she forgot her child in the car is unbelievable to me,” she said. “A couple weeks after that happened my niece found a baby in a Kum and Go…our story helped her remember to check and see if there’s something in that car. That’s what we want,” she explained.
Police say the baby was treated at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and has since made a full recovery.