The woman who helped save her baby nephew on the side of the Dolphin Expressway in Miami said Friday that she learned CPR seven years ago and sought help from other drivers because she was so nervous she would make a mistake.
But doctors caring for 5-month-old Sebastian de la Cruz said Friday that his aunt, Pamela Rauseo, did all the right things to save the boy's life Thursday.
“I had the chance to look at some of the pictures that are on the press, and had a chance to see what she did, and she did exactly – somehow as a blast from the past several years back, she did exactly what everybody would have taught her right now to do, which is work rapidly on the child and seek help,” Dr. Juan Solano said at a press conference Friday afternoon.
Rauseo was one of three people who performed CPR on the baby and resuscitated him Thursday.
"I got on the floor with him and I administered CPR, which I was scared to do because it’s been seven years since I learned how to do it,” Rauseo said.
Sebastian was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital's pediatrics unit, where he was listed in critical but stable condition Friday, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Another motorist helped come to the rescue of the baby after he started turning blue on Thursday, the Miami Herald reported.
Rauseo was stuck in traffic just east of 57th Avenue when Sebastian suddenly stopped crying. She then pulled over and noticed he wasn't breathing. She said she initially thought about calling 911 using OnStar or her phone, but in her frantic state she was unable to do either one.
She then jumped out of her car and screamed for help.
Lucila Godoy, who happened to be stuck in the same traffic, was able to come to Sebastian's aid, performing CPR on the side of the road, the Herald reported.
Godoy also called 911.
"I was like please don't die on me because I don't know what I'm going to do,” she said.
Rauseo told reporters she was in a panic and kept thinking she could not let anything happen to the baby while he was with her.
Meantime, Herald photographer Al Diaz, who was in the car behind Rauseo's, ran through traffic and found Sweetwater Police Officer Amauris Bastidas. He helped perform chest compressions while Rauseo breathed into the baby's mouth, in a dramatic moment captured by the photographer.
Rauseo, Godoy and Bastidas performed CPR until Miami-Dade Fire Rescue arrived and took Sebastian to Jackson.
"The big take-home message is that CPR does save lives,” Solano said.