(CBS) — A 14-month-old Wonder Lake boy is home from the hospital — one day after he stopped breathing twice at the side of the road on Illinois 120 in far northwest suburban Bull Valley.
A police detective, who failed in three previous attempts to revive someone using cardiopulmonary resuscitation, was in the right place at the right time and brought the child back.
“There was no heartbeat that could be found,” said Bull Valley Police Detective Jim Page, who cannot explain why he had turned back toward Wonder Lake after initially heading to Woodstock.
He says it may have been luck, or perhaps Providence. Whatever the reason, when Page heard the emergency call on his police radio, he was 100 feet from Abby Ramirez and her son.
He began chest compressions, knowing that in the past his efforts had never been successful. After five or six compressions, the child began gurgling, spitting up mucus and breathing weakly.
“I actually said out loud, ‘Oh my God, this is working,'” he said.
But his success was short-lived. Mucus continued to clog the toddler’s throat, and the child again stopped breathing. Again Page did chest compressions, and this time the toddler left no doubt that he was fully revived.
“Within 30 to 40 seconds the child partially woke up and started crying,” Page said. “That made his mother start crying, which made me start crying.”
At that point, Wonder Lake paramedics arrived on the scene and transported the child to Northern Illinois Medical Center in McHenry. From there, he was transported by medical helicopter to Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where he was put on antibiotics for a severe respiratory infection.
One day made all the difference, and he was released shortly after 1 p.m. Friday.
Page’s boss and the child’s mother call him a hero. Page said it is the most satisfying thing he’s ever done.
“You can’t help it, the joy that we feel not only for this little boy but for saving a life, and it was one of the most intense and most emotional things I’ve ever gone through,” he said.