A Florida aunt and a concerned motorist are being hailed with saving the life of the woman's five-month-old nephew, after the infant fell unconscious and stopped breathing while the aunt was driving along a busy Miami highway on Thursday.
A photo of 37-year-old Pamela Rauseo performing CPR on her nephew Sebastian de la Cruz, who lay limp and blue in his aunt’s arms, has gone viral, reports CNN on Friday. The harrowing ordeal played out on State Road 836 in Miami, a six-lane thoroughfare known locally as the Dolphin Expressway.
When little Sebastian, who was born prematurely and suffers respiratory problems, stopped crying in Rauseo’s back seat, she knew something was wrong.
“That was a red flag for me, because the car was at a standstill, and he'd had a little bit of a cold, and I knew that he was congested, so I got really worried,” Rauseo said on Friday.
When she turned around and saw Sebastian unconscious and turning blue, she panicked, leaping from her car and pleading for passing motorists to stop. Fortunately, a number of them did. Hurried drivers got out of their cars to see if they could assist.
“I pulled over on the left, and I jumped to the back to check up on him, and he was out,” Rauseo said. “I touched him to stimulate him. I got no response, so I took him out of his car seat, and he was completely limp and turning purple. I tried to call 911, but I was just so nervous, my hands wouldn't function.”
According to the Miami Herald, driver Lucila Godoy, 34, along with Rauseo, began a tandem CPR – Pamela placing her entire mouth over her nephew’s mouth and nose, with Godoy doing quick, two-fingered chest compressions on the baby’s chest.
“I was driving in the middle lane; she was in the fast lane, and all of a sudden I see her, and she's screaming and she's holding the baby and she's putting it up and down,” Godoy said. “I just stopped the car and jumped out of the car, and I asked her what was going on, and we started working as a team.”
Godoy had taken a CPR course when she was pregnant in Venezuela with her own son, also named Sebastian, reports CNN. Her instincts took over and she was able to assist Pamela to save the young baby’s life.
Other motorists raced back and found Miami policeman Amauris Bastidas, an officer in his patrol car not far behind the stopped traffic. Bastidas came and took over the CPR.
“I lifted him up in the air and moved him up and down,” Bastidas said. “He started breathing and crying.”
Miami Fire and Rescue rushed Sebastian to hospital, where a spokeswoman confirmed last night that he is in stable condition.
“We're confident he'll be fine,” Rauseo said. “We just need to get to the root of what's causing these issues for him.”