ELMWOOD PARK, Ill. -- An Elmwood Park 911 dispatcher talked a desperate father through CPR after his 3-week-old daughter stopped breathing, and paramedics were later able to resuscitate the girl on the way to the hospital.
About 3 p.m. Oct. 9, the girl's frantic parents called 911, saying their daughter, Amelia, had stopped breathing, while her father, Brent Patterson, was changing her diaper.
"It was a congenital brain problem that caused my daughter to stop breathing," he said.
The girl's face had gone pale and the anxiety of Patterson's wife could be heard when speaking to the 911 dispatcher.
"Please save my baby!" she pleaded.
Nick Risicato, 23, the dispatcher who took their call, said his training in various emergency scenarios immediately took over.
"This is the first (call) I've ever taken like this," he said. "We train for a lot of things, and although this doesn't happen a lot, we train for it."
Elmwood Park Fire Chief Michael Marino said Risicato was able to instruct Patterson how to perform infant CPR over the phone, and paramedics were sent to the home. They arrived about 3 minutes after the initial call was made.
Marino said once they got there, his paramedics began to work on the girl on the way to Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park.
"Just when they pulled up (to the hospital) the baby regained consciousness," Marino said. Emergency room staffers were able to keep the little girl breathing until she was transferred to Loyola University Medical Center, Marino said.
"The baby is showing signs of improving and that makes me feel good," he said. "It was pretty much a team effort and we're pretty good at what we do."
The baby is now being treated at the hospital, and her father thanked everyone involved with saving her.
"We're grateful for the quick response time and the things that have been done," he said. "My daughter nearly died."
Still, Ameilia isn't out of the woods yet - she had to have an operation the day after she stopped breathing.
"We're dealing with a very difficult situation and we hope it works out for the best," Patterson said. "We have a long way to go."