CHICAGO (CBS) — Two Chicago police officers have been credited with saving a newborn baby’s life, after the child was born premature in the basement of a home in Little Village.
Ogden District officers Mark Palazzolo and Maritza Bautista responded to a home near 23rd and Lawndale on Monday, after a 26-year-old mother reported her child was born after 34 weeks of pregnancy.
“Myself and my partner observed a woman sitting on the toilet, with a newborn child clutched in her arms. The woman relates to us that the child was not breathing,” Palazzolo said.
The officers removed the baby’s umbilical cord, and performed CPR for four minutes at the direction of paramedics who were on their way.
Bautista said she spoke to the mother and tried to keep her calm.
“I think she was horrified, but when we arrived, we tried to keep her calm, asked her how far along she was in the pregnancy. She said 34 weeks. We told her everything was going to be okay, and the paramedics were on their way,” she said.
An ambulance took the baby to the hospital, where the newborn was stabilized.
“Nothing can fully prepare you for that type of incident, no matter how much training or experience. I think that your paternal instincts kick in, and from there your training kicks in,” Palazzolo said.
Bautista said the experience gave her more confidence she could handle a similar emergency in the future.
“I feel like I would have more confidence in knowing what to do, just watching him handle the situation,” she said. “For me, I think it was being a mom myself, and also my partner. My partner took complete control of the situation, and that helped keep me calm and focused on what I was doing, and I think that helped all of us overall focus on the baby.”