Suggested Searches

3 min read

White Sands Test Facility Employee Saves Child’s Life

On Friday, September 20, 2013 at the NASA Test & Evaluation Contract (NTEC) company picnic, Terry Hamilton (sister of White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) employee Kim Hamilton) gained a whole new reason to celebrate life with her family.

Terry’s little son Caden was eating with his mother and brother at a noisy and busy area of the picnic when a chip lodged in his throat. But because an observant Jacobs employee, Carlos Martinez, noticed Caden’s distress; he is doing great. Terry recalls the incident, and contemplates what could have happened if Carlos had not been so attentive and quick to react.

Caden Campbell
Terry Hamilton

“My husband was at the car, so I was sitting alone with my 7- and 2-year-old children when Caden started choking on a potato chip. At first I thought it was going to be okay, but then he started making gagging noises and turning blue. Someone appeared at my side and asked, ‘Is he all right?’ I was so involved with what was going on I didn’t look up, but said I wasn’t sure. When I turned to the person, I saw it was Carlos. He said, ‘You’re Kim’s sister aren’t you, and it was a chip, right?’ Before I could respond, Caden’s choking got louder and Carlos immediately jumped into action. It all went so fast, I don’t recall everything Carlos did, but I do remember he raised Caden’s arms over his head and then picked him up, flipped him upside down and literally stuck his finger down his throat. Before I knew it, the chip was out, Caden was crying, and so was I for that matter.”

“I do not even want to think about what could have happened if Carlos had not been there, or if he had not been paying attention and had not responded. It was so loud and busy at the picnic, it was amazing Carlos even noticed what was going on. He is an incredibly special person to stay vigilant in the middle of chaos and to help someone who was a stranger. My family and I can never thank him enough, and we will be eternally grateful to him for what he did.”

When Carlos isn’t helping other children, he and his wife Vanessa take care of their daughter Renesmae and a niece and nephew. Carlos works in WSTF’s Propulsion Department, while Vanessa works in Administration at WSTF.