Good Samaritans save baby who stopped breathing on plane

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Jill Galus

Posted on March 12, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 14 at 2:47 PM

PHOENIX -- A baby whose medical emergency forced a Phoenix-bound US Airways flight to land unexpectedly in Houston owes his life to two strangers.

The baby stopped breathing while flight 678 from Tampa was in the air, en route to Phoenix Tuesday night.

"There was a man in back who must have been a combat paramedic or something, who rescued the baby," Andy Russick told 3TV. "I was sitting next to a doctor who jumped over me ... and helped the guy. It was amazing. It was awesome. It restores your faith in humanity."

The baby reportedly is doing fine now.

According to people who were on the plane, the flight was uneventful until a grandmother started yelling that her grandson was not breathing and that his face was turning purple.

Answering her pleas for help, two good Samaritans leaped into action to save the baby.

According to Russick, the flight attendants had oxygen and were cooling the baby down. At some point, one of the good Samaritans, neither of whom has been identified, gave the baby CPR.

"The baby started crying after awhile and he … yelled something out like, 'A crying baby is a breathing baby,'" Russick said.

Passengers cheered the good Samaritans when they heard the baby's cries.

Russick said he heard the doctor say the baby had a high fever and suffered a seizure because of it.

US Airways is not releasing any information about its passengers, including the baby, his grandmother and the two heroes who came to their rescue.

Flight 678 landed in Phoenix at about 9 p.m., about an hour after its scheduled arrival time. The delay caused many passengers to miss their connecting flights, forcing them to spend the night in Phoenix. None of them complained, however. They simply were happy -- and relieved -- that the baby was OK.

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