UPDATED: Bystanders who helped save baby’s life ‘acted on instinct’
Two bystanders, who helped save an infant's life Thursday afternoon, say they're just happy the baby is okay.
Ottawa Paramedics say a newborn boy had gone into cardiac arrest while traveling with his parents in the St. Laurent and Belfast area around 3:15 p.m. Thursday.
David McEvoy, an Ottawa Bylaw officer, and Geraldina Carvalho, a personal support worker at the Perley Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre, came across the scene, each thinking it was a minor collision at first.
“It’s normally not the road I go through, but yesterday I went down that road,” Carvalho tells CFRA’s Ottawa Now. “I saw a man on the phone, and he was yelling and very agitated and I saw a lady and she was crying and I thought she was going to pass out. And I saw another lady with the baby, and I saw something was wrong so I stopped the car.”
Carvalho says the baby had turned purple.
“Give me the baby!” She said, and she immediately began CPR.
“In that time, I don’t think about nothing,” she says. “I asked God to help me save the baby. Honestly, it was instinct to do it. Someone was there to help me go through all that.”
McEvoy arrived a short time later.
“When I looked over, I saw some action going on, it looked like CPR was being done on somebody, so that’s when I stopped my vehicle,” he tells Ottawa Now. “At that point I saw Geraldina holding the infant. I grabbed the infant and I proceeded to ventilate and started chest compressions with two fingers while I was standing.”
He moved the baby into the nearby car and continued CPR.
“I did another cycle of CPR and I then I could see the diaphragm rising and falling, and I realized that I had something.”
Firefighters from a nearby station arrived next and put oxygen on the baby before Paramedics arrived to take him to CHEO, where he was listed in serious but stable condition Thursday afternoon.
Ottawa Paramedics had said Thursday a 9-1-1 dispatcher had given some CPR coaching over the phone. McEvoy says he believes that happened before he came across the scene. Both he and Carvalho are trained in CPR and McEvoy is also a CPR instructor.
Carvalho says she’s happy to learn the baby is expected to recover. She says she just did the right thing.
“I’m happy and I hope I can help again," she says. "If you do good, good things come to you. It’s the life. We are here for each other and life needs to continue that way. Help each other and be happy.”
McEvoy says it’s an important reminder, as well, for everyone to have even basic CPR and first aid training.