CHICAGO (CBS) — A baby was found on top of a garbage can in the Hermosa neighborhood Tuesday afternoon, Chicago police say.
Police were dispatched to 1714 Keystone Ave. at 4:11 p.m.
A mother and daughter spotted the baby after hearing him crying then took him to a firehouse, a source says. Paramedics then tied off the umbilical cord of the bleeding baby and began working on him.
Paramedics worked on the baby, who they say was not breathing and had no pulse, for more than a half hour before emergency room workers took over, a source told CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov.
“I wasn’t too optimistic, like I said to the lieutenant here,” said Patrick Fitzmaurice, CFD paramedic field chief. “I wasn’t ready to lose this one today, and neither were they. And they worked very hard. Then we got excellent response from Chicago police, who escorted the ambulance to Norwegian American, and they did a fantastic job there.”
“I don’t know what it’s like to be pregnant with a child in some horrible circumstances where you are driven to do something like this that almost sound diabolical,” Fitzmaurice said. “But come to us. If she would have called 911, we would have taken the baby to one hospital and her to another. We won’t judge. Don’t leave your baby in an alley. Come to a firehouse. Leave the baby there. Give the kid a chance. This poor kid was just minutes away from not having a chance, and these guys did a magnificent job.”
Melanie Howe, commander on ambulance three, said when she arrived, engine 76 and truck 35 were already doing CPR and had already shocked the baby.
“He was freezing cold,” she said. “By the time we left the firehouse he was already starting to move a little bit, breathing on his own, very little bit, inadequate and not sustainable with life, but we kept working CPR. And we kept ventilating him with the mask and the bag. His color stayed good. By the time we got him to the hospital we had just a little discernible movements, and it was enough to know we had a chance.”
The baby was taken to Norwegian American Hospital and then transported to Lurie Children’s Hospital.
A source told Kozlov the baby was stabilized and moving his arms and legs with his eyes open after the incident. After paramedics worked on him, the source says neonatal doctors at Norwegian American Hospital worked to save him without giving up, even though some thought it was futile.
The Illinois Safe Haven law allows any parent to anonymously relinquish a newborn at a safe haven facility. The fire house where that little boy was rushed is one of those facilities.