GREENSBURG, Kan. (KAKE) - A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper was honored last week for saving a newborn baby who stopped breathing on the way to church with her family on Mother's Day.

Master Trooper Evan Jacks was recognized on Friday at the Triangle Club Rodeo in Greenburg for his heroic acts on May 12.

It was Gracie Gray's first Mother's Day. She and the father, Kahl Huffman, left the family ranch with 18-day-old Brexley and headed to church in Greensburg. During the drive, Brexley began crying. 

"Her parents pulled over to the side of the road and tried to comfort her," a family member told KAKE News. "Their efforts were in vain. Little Brexley had turned blue and passed out. She wasn't breathing."

They called 911 and were told to wait for paramedics. Trooper Jacks was conducting a traffic stop nearby and heard the call go out. 

"He was actually within sight of the family. They watched him run to his vehicle and drive to where they were," the family member said.

The trooper took Brexley from her mother, performed lifesaving measures and got her breathing again. 

The family member said doctors discovered Brexley has heart defects that weren't known prior to the May 12 episode. Brexley is now at Children's Mercy Kansas City where she's already undergone one procedure and is scheduled for open heart surgery on May 29 to replace her aorta. 

"If it wasn't for the calm demeanor of Trooper Evan Jacks and his knowledge and training in life saving skills, we know that we wouldn't have sweet little Brexley with us today. Trooper Jacks is our forever hero."

At Friday's Triangle Club Rodeo, the family presented Trooper Jacks with a plaque acknowledging his efforts. 

Courtesy Carrie Jordan

"There really isn't any way for us to fully express our gratitude to him," the family member said. "He is our hero and we will forever be grateful for his calmness and skills during a terrifying situation... Trooper Jacks is a humble man. He never even told his fellow troopers or even his boss about saving Brexley 's life. His boss was completely surprised upon hearing about what Trooper Jacks had done."

Brexley's dad told KAKE News on Tuesday that Trooper Jacks definitely deserves recognition for saving Brexley's life. 

"We spoke with Master Trooper Evan Jacks (K-457) about this!" the Kansas Highway Patrol said on Facebook. "He truly is a hero in our eyes, jumping into action and bravely saving a life. He said, 'I am fortunate the good Lord put me in the right place at the right time and gave me the knowledge I needed to help those people out.' He also said he had prior experience in a similar situation and used that to his advantage. Simply in Master Trooper Jacks’ eyes, he was just doing his job. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Brexley and her family as they navigate her newly found heart defects, upcoming surgery, and a speedy recovery!"
KAKE News will provide an update following Brexley's surgery. A GoFundMe has been established to help the family.