Police Officer Jessie Ferreira Cavallo was on her way to work when she spotted a young boy running against traffic and then leap off an overpass on the freeway. She immediately sprung into action. Grabbing her first aid kit, she ran after him. Looking over the side of the overpass, she noticed him lifeless, below. The drop was at least 30 feet but she didn’t hesitate, and jumped off the overpass herself to where the boy had landed.
“Everything happened so fast and I think my adrenaline was pumping so high,” Cavallo told USA Today. She’s an officer for the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson in New York. “I wasn’t thinking too much,” she shared. “I just knew, when I looked down and saw him … he looked dead. I couldn’t see anything other than blood. I thought to myself, ‘He needs help. I need to help him.’”
The 12-year-old boy was unconscious and bleeding badly, but Cavallo and another woman, who Cavallo said was dressed in a military uniform, helped put a neck brace on the boy and splint his leg. He opened his eyes briefly before falling unconscious again.
According to police in Westchester County, New York, the child was taken to the hospital with a broken arm, broken nose, and leg injuries. He is expected to recover. The boy is a student at the nearby Andrus campus, a private, nonprofit organization that provides services for vulnerable children, children with special needs, and children with severe emotional and behavior issues.
Cavallo is being credited with saving the boy’s life, although what she did hasn’t sunk in yet.
“I didn’t realize how high it was. It seemed doable. It didn’t seem that high. I thought I jumped over a brick wall, or a cement barrier,” Cavallo said. “It was so fast. It was more like tunnel vision. I saw the boy and I needed to get to him. I didn’t see anything else.”
She hasn’t reconnected with the teen yet but hopes he’s doing well and said, “I just want to give him a hug.”