When resident Betsy Schuff found her 11-year old son in the bathroom with blood all over his face early in the morning of April 13, she at first thought he had a bloody nose.
"But then I realized it was coming out of his mouth," Betsy recalled, noticing that he son Chris was vomiting blood into the toilet. It was 6:15 a.m.
With her husband already gone that morning for work, she said that it was just luck that put Ptl. Gregory Lauretta on patrol not far from her neighborhood when she made the 9-1-1 call.
"If he hadn't shown up exactly when he did, I don't know what I would have done," Betsy said.
By that point, Chris was sitting on his mother's lap and fading. He told her he could see stars and then passed out.
"I threw him at (Lauretta)," Betsy remembered, instructing the officer to help her son.
She then went to calm her younger son down who she said was screaming in another part of the house and when she returned, she heard Lauretta saying, "C'mon, buddy, come back."
Betsy realized the officer had begun to perform CPR on her son and Lauretta later told her he couldn't feel Chris's pulse or see any rise in his chest.
"All I could think was, 'How could he leave me?'" Betsy said of watching her son being worked on.
"I couldn't understand it," Betsy said, adding that Chris hadn't suffered from any medical conditions and had appeared perfectly healthy the day before. “It didn't make any sense."
Later, she learned that stitches from recent oral surgery had split while Chris was sleeping and he had ingested a large amount of blood from the wound.
Lauretta revived Chris after several compressions and soon Oceanport First Aid and MonOc arrived and he was transported to the hospital where he was treated a released.
Betsy told Patch that the first aid teams were "wonderful" and "worked together like a well-oiled machine."
A healthy Chris and his very-relieved mom got the opportunity to thank Lauretta at this week's Oceanport Borough Council meeting, where Chris pinned a medal of honor onto the officer's uniform.
Following the June 7 ceremony, which included commendations by the mayor and council as well as Chief Harold Sutton, Betsy sat in the hallway outside the courtroom with Chris, Lauretta and members of the officer's family and went over the events of that morning again and expressed wonder over all that had transpired.
"I'm even shaking now," Betsy said, holding out her arm.
"It just doesn't go away," she said, "I keep seeing it all in my head."
Betsy said she still feels like she didn't say everything she wanted to say to Lauretta. "I just don't know how you could ever thank someone for that."