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Binghamton Hotel Worker Saves Baby's Life

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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -

Just another day at work for a Binghamton hotel worker turned into a lifesaving moment. Amanda Kelly saved a baby's life last July, and was honored as one of 20 "Real Heroes" at the American Red Cross's annual reception. 

"This kind of thing doesn't happen to me," says Kelly, "I lead a relatively boring life." 

It was a busy weekend at the DoubleTree and Kelly was asked to stay late to help out. 

"I was supposed to clock out at three and decided to stay a little longer," says Kelly.

15 minutes into that overtime, Kelly saw the elevator doors open in the lobby. A woman came running out, clutching her baby.

"She was just screaming, my baby's not breathing, she can't breathe," recalls Kelly.

From that moment on, it was all a blur.

"Pretty sure the words, 'I got it' came out of my mouth at one point," says Kelly.

She ran from behind the desk to the mom, Amber Palmer. While another employee dialed 911, Kelly grabbed the baby, instincts taking over.

"I didn't say two words to her, I just grabbed her baby, flipped her over and started the back blows. And the baby started breathing and crying again," says Kelly.

The special Heimlich technique used on infants is something she learned as a teen while becoming Red Cross certified so she could babysit. She took a refresher course a few years ago when her own daughter was born. 

The hotel worker of 10 years doesn't think of herself as a hero. She says she just reacted. Either way, she will likely never forget that July afternoon. 

"When she was still there I was calm, just like 'let's finish work,' but after I clocked off I just went to my car and cried.
I cried," says Kelly.

She was presented with the Good Neighbor Award by the American Red Cross. That awards reception was coincidentally held at the DoubleTree.