A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was credited with saving the life of an infant when he rushed to perform CPR on the baby, sitting unresponsive and pale in the backseat of his mother's car.
A mother driving in La Puente last Monday evening frantically called 911 to report that her 7-month-old baby was not breathing and hunched over in the car seat, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
While the mother was on the phone with the 911 operator, Deputy Erik Nava was dispatched to Hacienda Boulevard north of Temple Avenue, where the mother had pulled over.
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Sheriff's officials say Nava was flagged down by family members and ran to the car, where he found the baby, named Sebastian, lifeless.
Using an air pump and the first aid training he had received, Nava performed CPR on Sebastian until paramedics arrived.
"With my hand pushing down with both fingers I was touching lightly on the chest," Nava recalled.
The baby started showing signs of life.
"I said, Come on Sebastian, start crying," Nava said. "Give me a sign, give me more."
The child's skin color began to change, and after a few minutes the child started to breathe on his own, make noises and moved his body.
"Once he started gasping for air on his own I was OK, he's coming back to us," Nava said.
Paramedics took the baby to the hospital, where his health was being monitored.
On Monday, the baby's mother, Arjelia Lorenzo-Calleja, was overcome with emotion when she reunited with Nava.
"I feel grateful, and blessed," she said.
Nava, a father to a baby of a similar age, said he hopes to stay in touch with the family, and maybe even one day attend Sebastian's graduation.
Sebastian's mother is a nurse but said she was too frantic to perform CPR on her own child. Sebastian suffers from a pre-existing heart condition and had just left an appointment with his cardiologist.