Iván is a trainee police officer currently based at the Local Police headquarters in La Línea de la Concepción, in Cadiz province, and on Tuesday he became a hero. He was on duty at the police station when somebody began pounding on the door, and when he opened it he was greeted by the sight of a desperate father with his four-year-old daughter in his arms. “She’s unconscious and not breathing,” he declared, tearfully.
The little girl is called María and she is alive today thanks to this 25-year-old police trainee. Realising that every second counted, he tried everything he could think of to open her airway but when she didn't respond he laid her on the floor and began CPR. "I could only think about what I was doing, but I was convinced she would come round,” he said afterwards.
After three or four minutes, which seemed to take hours, María finally opened her eyes and began to breathe again. So did her father, and all the police officers who were present by then.
She had a very high temperature and was trembling, however, and was taken by ambulance to the local hospital. A few hours later, her father returned to the police station, and embraced Iván in a huge hug in gratitude for saving his daughter’s life.
Iván was born and grew up in Malaga city and his father and uncle are both police officers, one with the Local Police in Fuengirola and the other with the National Police. When he was 21 and had obtained his Law degree at university, Iván decided that he would follow in their footsteps. He has been based in La Línea since December.
María remains in hospital under observation to see whether she has a cardiac condition. Iván is keeping up to date with her progress because he is regular contact with her father. “All that matters is that she gets well,” he says modestly, brushing aside comments about his heroism.