Area North detectives are questioning a 16-year-old girl to determine whether she is the mother of the newborn baby who was found abandoned on top of a trash can Tuesday in Hermosa on the Northwest Side.
A woman and her daughter noticed the baby boy, who still had his umbilical cord attached, in an alley in the 1700 block of North Keystone Avenue and took him to a firehouse, Chicago Fire Dept. Field Chief Patrick Fitzmaurice said at a news conference.
“This poor kid was minutes away from having no chance at all,” Fitzmaurice said. “The baby was cold as concrete. I wasn’t ready to lose this one, and neither were the” emergency personnel.
Paramedics performed CPR and other life-saving measures on the baby and took him in critical condition to Norwegian American Hospital at 4:11 p.m., Fitzmaurice said. The baby’s condition was stabilized there, and he was transported to Lurie Children’s Hospital downtown.
At Lurie, the baby was pink, alert and using a breathing tube.
“The little guy is crying and kicking…,” a spokesman for the fire department said.
Chicago police said they have not determined who left the baby on top of the garbage can.
This was the first baby in Illinois this year to be illegally abandoned, according to Dawn Geras, who lobbied to pass Illinois’ “Safe Haven law” in 2001.
Under the law, infants 30 days or younger may be dropped off — no questions asked — with a staff member at a hospital, fire or police station, according to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
Since the law was passed, 131 babies have been saved because of the law, Geras said.
“Typically, after something like this happens, there is a bump in babies legally relinquished,” Geras said. “Thing is, because the law promises anonymity to the parent, those happy stories don’t make the news.”
This baby was the first one to be illegally abandoned in Illinois this year, Geras said. Since 2001, 82 other babies have been illegally abandoned in the state.
“Most of [the abandoned babies] don’t survive,” Geras said. “I pray this little boy survives.”