Infant saved on 836 recovering at JMH - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Infant saved on 836 recovering at JMH

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Sebastian de la Cruz Sebastian de la Cruz
Pamela Rauseo administers CPR to her baby nephew. Pamela Rauseo administers CPR to her baby nephew.
A paramedic takes Sebastian to Jackson Memorial Hospital. A paramedic takes Sebastian to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

MIAMI (WSVN) -- The family of the 5-month-old infant saved on the side of the Dolphin Expressway on Thursday after he had stopped breathing said his condition is continuing to improve, though he remains hospitalized.

Pamela Rauseo said she pulled over to the side of the road after she noticed her nephew, Sebastian de la Cruz, was unresponsive and his face had begun turning blue. "I couldn't fail; I needed to get this baby well," said Rauseo during a news conference held at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Friday.

Rauseo screamed for help, kneeled down on the ground and began administering CPR, trying to revive him as a group of Good Samaritans stopped to help her. "I just did it," Rauseo said. "It wasn't a thought. It's just like a natural reaction."

Dramatic images captured by Miami Herald photographer Al Diaz captured the entire ordeal, right up to the moment Sebastian began breathing again and was taken by paramedics to JMH. He remains there in critical but stable condition.

"I have a very strong faith in God," said Rauseo, "and everything that happens, like I said, happens for a reason."

Among the Good Samaritans who assisted Rauseo were a Sweetwater Police officer, two members of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Hazmat unit and driver Lucila Godoy. "All of a sudden I see her and she's screaming, and she's holding the baby, and she's holding it up and down," Godoy said in a CNN interview. "She was desperate."

"We see a woman holding an infant that was somewhat unresponsive and blue," said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Capt. Anthony Trim.

Sebastian's roadside rescue made national headlines, and doctors said the incident serves as an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of knowing CPR. "Everybody needs to be trained in CPR, the parents, the aunts, the tíos, the tías, the abuelos, the grandparents and all our babysitters," said Dr. Judy Schaechter, interim chief of pediatrics at University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine, during Friday's news conference.

Rauseo, who said she last administered CPR seven years ago, credits her training as being crucial in saving her baby nephew. "You may not need it for your own child, but what's the wrong in having it if you can help save somebody else's life?" she said.

Rauseo said when she saw Sebastian blue in the face, her training kicked right in. "Run now and get certified, right now, seriously," she said.

It remains unclear why Sebastian stopped breathing in the first place, but his family said he recently had some congestion and believe the baby has breathing problems because he was born prematurely.

Speaking to 7News Saturday afternoon, Rauseo said they have been inundated with phone calls following the incident. She said she wants media outlets to respect her family's privacy at this time.

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