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Rescue of 5-month-old stops traffic in Florida

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Miami Herald
Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, 8:45 p.m.
 

MIAMI — It was a sight that jarred motorists on a busy Miami expressway.

Traffic suddenly came to a standstill about 2:30 p.m. on Thursday and a woman sprang from her car, holding a baby, screaming for help.

Pamela Rauseo, 37, of West Kendall, Fla., was frantic: Her 5-month-old nephew, Sebastian de la Cruz, was turning blue.

Lucila Godoy, 34, of Miami left her 3-year-old in her car to help Rauseo perform CPR on the unconscious infant, born prematurely with respiratory issues.

Miami Herald photographer Al Diaz, was stopped right behind Rauseo.

He heard Rauseo “screaming that the baby can't breathe.”

Diaz quickly jogged through traffic lanes to summon more help and found Sweetwater police Officer Amauris Bastidas, who ran to the scene and took over CPR for Godoy, performing chest pumps while Rauseo breathed into the baby's mouth.

“I lifted him up in the air and moved him up and down,” Bastidas said. “He started breathing and crying. Then he started not breathing again.”

Anthony Trim and Alvaro Tonanez, Miami-Dade firefighters, were also stuck in the traffic and jumped out of their separate cars. They found Sebastian breathing, but barely.

An ambulance arrived moments later and rushed the baby to a hospital, where he remains in stable condition.

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