Strangers help save infant's life on roadside

Aunt of 5-month-old begs for help when baby stops breathing

Published On: Feb 21 2014 09:51:19 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 21 2014 04:31:33 PM EST
MIAMI -

An infant is in critical but stable condition after a medical scare brought traffic to a stop on the Dolphin Expressway Thursday.

Five-month-old Sebastian de la Cruz stopped breathing while riding with his aunt on SR 836 around 2:30 p.m. Pamela Rauseo pulled over, begging for help.

"It really was the scariest moment of my life," said Rauseo. "I don't know how I remembered what to do, I just couldn't let him die ... I had the baby in my arms and he was completely limp and I kept screaming for help."

As other drivers realized what was going on, they rushed to help, stalling traffic in the process. According to his aunt, Sebastian was born prematurely and suffers from respiratory issues.

"I didn't feel comfortable performing CPR because my training was so long ago ... but I was screaming for help and everyone who was there said they didn't know how to do anything so I did, and luckily it worked."

Sweetwater police officer Amauris Bastidas helped Rauseo by performing chest bumps as she breathed into the infant's mouth. Along with another woman who had pulled over to help, they kept the baby breathing until Miami Fire Rescue was able to get there.

A Miami Herald photographer ran through lanes of traffic to get help. Once rescue crews arrived, he went back for his camera, capturing the tense moments.

"When I saw that she was being assisted, that's when I ran back to grab the camera," Al Diaz explained. "It was pretty traumatic."

As of Friday morning, Sebastian was in critical, but stable condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

PHOTOS: Strangers help save baby's life on SR 836

Published On: Feb 21 2014 08:50:59 AM EST
Photos by Al Diaz, The Miami Herald

A Miami Herald photographer captured the dramatic scene on the side of the Dolphin Expressway Thursday when a woman realized her infant nephew wasn't breathing.

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Courtesy: Al Diaz, Miami Herald