MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When a baby stopped breathing on the Dolphin Expressway, traffic stopped too and total strangers came together to help save a life.
The dramatic rescue unfolded on State Road 836 Thursday afternoon and Miami Herald photojournalist Al Diaz was there to capture it.
His images show a distraught woman frantically trying to save her 5-month-old nephew Sebastian De La Cruz and the good Samaritans who didn’t hesitate to assist in the rescue effort.
Diaz was driving behind Pamela Rauseo when she suddenly hit the brakes.
“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,” Al Diaz told CBS4’s Lauren Pastrana.
A woman, Lucila Godoy, also ran over.
She performed CPR as her own child waited in the car.
Diaz says Godoy helped bring the baby back to life, but she says she doesn’t consider herself a hero.
“I think I just did whatever any person would do,” Godoy told Pastrana.
She knew to turn the baby on its side to get him breathing again.
Sweetwater Police Officer Amauris Bastidas also gave chest compressions.
“There was a female crying on the floor. At that time I didn’t realize she had a baby. The baby was lying on her lap. She told me, ‘Help me, please help me. The baby’s not responding.’ The baby was pale, blue in color,” said Bastidas.
Officer Bastidas is usually assigned to the bike patrol at Dolphin Mall, but he was a few cars back on 836 when Diaz went looking for help.
Bastidas has been cop for three years, but says this is his first time he’s been faced with such a life or death scenario. Thankfully, his training kicked in.
“Save someone’s life. It’s my duty. It’s my duty to act,” said Bastidas.
Diaz said two Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Haz-Mat team members who also happened to be on the expressway rushed over to the scene.
As a photographer in Miami, he’s seen a lot. But even he was touched by the kindness of quick thinking strangers.
“It’s a great thing that people actually stopped to help,” said Diaz.
A hospital spokesperson said Sebastian De La Cruz was stable at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
It’s not clear what caused him to stop breathing, though CBS4 has learned the boy was born premature and had some respiratory issues.