Two Chicago Police officers said maternal instincts kicked in on Monday when they used CPR to revive an unresponsive premature newborn in a Little Village residence.
Field training Officer Mark Palazzolo and probationary officer Maritza Bautista received a call that a woman had given birth in her basement at the 2300 block of Lawndale. First on the scene, they found the 26-year-old woman frozen in pain in the residence’s bathroom, cradling the baby girl, still attached to her umbilical cord.
“I think she was horrified,” Bautista said. “We told her, ‘Everything is going to be OK.’ ”
The officers did a visual and cursory inspection of the child, only 34 weeks old, and determined that she was unresponsive. They notified the Chicago Fire Department immediately of her condition.
Palazzolo performed CPR on the child with directions from Bautista. Both officers had been trained in CPR at the Chicago Police and Firefighter Training Academy, though Palazzolo said nothing could have completely prepared him for this type of incident.
“Your maternal instincts kick in, and then from there, your training completes it,” he said.
The Fire department arrived about four minutes later. The child was brought to Mount Sinai Hospital, where she was in stable condition, police said.