Any Miami expressway can expect to see traffic jams as a normal part of the daily routine. But on Thursday, an early afternoon back up was caused by a near tragedy that had a happy ending. The “miracle” occurred on the Dolphin Expressway, Florida State Road 836, when Pamela Rauseo realized her five month old nephew had stopped breathing.
She frantically jumped out of her car and pulled little Sebastian De La Cruz from his car seat. Rauseo, 37, and the infant were on their way back from a doctor’s visit at the hospital where Sebastian’s mother, Paola Vargas, works. The baby boy had been crying uncontrollably when everything suddenly got very quiet.
“When he stopped crying, I sensed something might be wrong. It was like a gut feeling,” Rauseo would later tell The New York Daily News. “I firmly believe that God somehow told me ‘you need to get back there.'”
— Ethan Klapper (@ethanklapper) February 21, 2014
Upon grabbing the baby up, Rauseo noticed that his skin had already begun to turn pale. Not knowing what to do she began screaming for help. Fortunately, there were good people on the Miami expressway that day. In the car behind her was Miami Herald photographer, Al Diaz. Seeing the young woman pulling an infant from his seat and out into traffic obviously startled him. He told CBS 4 what he heard Rauseo screaming. “A woman pops out of the car and starts screaming ‘My baby can’t breathe, My baby can’t breathe. Call 911!’ So I got out of my car and ran over to help her,” Diaz said.
As the two attempted to resuscitate little Sebastian, traffic on the Miami expressway began to stop. They were quickly joined by another motorist, a mom herself, Lucila Godoy. Godoy jumped right in and began helping with CPR as Sebastian, who had already started turning blue, began to breathe again. Godoy left her own three year-old in the car to help save a strangers baby.
— Crescent (@CrescentSpeak) February 21, 2014
Soon, they were joined by law enforcement and emergency response teams. Poor Sebastian continued to slip in and out of consciousness. Born premature, he had been struggling with respiratory issues since getting sick in January. But his courageous aunt Pamela, who watches Sebatian while his mom works, would not give up. “She trusted me with him. I would never forgive myself if I let her down like that.”
Once more medial help arrived, Diaz was able to catch the whole incident on camera. His photographs are as powerful as the situation itself.
Little Sebastian was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where his mother is a nurse, once he was stabilized. As of Thursday night his condition was stable and he will be under observation until they can find what is causing the continued respiratory issues.
How encouraging to know that something like this Miami expressway miracle can happen because some motorists cared enough to stop and help.