Sebastian de la Cruz needed CPR twice before he was safely transported to Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital. The baby nephew of Pamela Rauseo, Sebastian, was born prematurely and suffered respiratory problems, officers later said, which provoked Rauseo to leap from her SUV off the Dolphin Expressway and call for help. Sebastian couldn’t breathe and was turning blue.
Rauseo’s pleas didn’t go unanswered for long. Among the motorists that heard her cries was veteran Miami Herald photographer, Al Diaz. “I heard screaming,” he told the newspaper, adding that he saw a woman pop out of the car in front of him “screaming that the baby can’t breathe.” Diaz quickly rushed down the highway, looking for a patrol car he could alert. He found Sweetwater police officer Amauris Bastidas.
“I lifted him up in the air and moved him up and down,” Bastidas said. “He started breathing and crying.”
But there was a problem. Sebastian had stopped breathing again. Together with Rauseo and a passing motorist who pulled over to help, 34-year-old Lucila Godoy, Bastidas, and the two women helped restart the baby’s breathing. By then, Miami Fire Rescue had arrived and were able to check Sebastian’s vital signs before rushing him to the hospital, where he is now in stable condition. Diaz, for his part, remarked on the conflict he felt during the intense ordeal. “As a photojournalist you want to capture these images,” he told the NY Daily News, “but as a human being you want to get help.”