A mother's instincts save toddler, unborn child

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PHOENIX — She may be in a hospital bed, badly banged up and battered, but a Valley mother will tell you she has much to be thankful for, after she put her life on the line to save her son and unborn child.

“You’re so excited for life right now because I was honestly blessed with life for me and my two children,” Jennifer Salinas told 3TV News.

Salinas and two of her children recently came perilously close to being killed – a drama that all started when her 2-year-old son Cruz suddenly got out of his stroller and sprinted out onto a busy street.

“My first instinct thought is to get my baby out of the road,” Salinas explained. “I don’t care if I have to get hit, I don’t care; I’m getting my baby out of the road.”

It happened about 10 days ago. Salinas and her family had eaten dinner in a restaurant at the intersection of 19th and Peoria avenues. Salinas said when they excited the restaurant she placed her toddler into the stroller. But in the blink of an eye the little boy was out and already into the street.

“I ran and grabbed him by his hand and threw him back to my twins and my baby girl catches him; but it was too late for me to get out,” she recalled.

Salinas was indeed able to toss her son Cruz safely to the curb, but then she was hit head-on by a northbound car on 19th Avenue. It’s a story made even more terrifying because at the time Jennifer Salinas was 7 ½ months pregnant.

“The car comes flying at me, comes at me at 40 mph,” she recalled. “My first reaction is to put my hand out and try to stop it, so I did. And to me that saved my baby because if I didn’t put my hands out that car would have went face first with my baby.”

Today, Salinas says she has two living breathing miracles: her newborn son Oscar, delivered by cesarean section at the hospital shortly after the accident, and her 2-year-old son Cruz, safe and sound staying with relatives.

Salinas is recovering from a badly broken leg, and also lost her spleen, but is still grateful knowing that it all could have been a whole lot worse.

“So I guess you can call that a mother’s natural instinct,” she said. “There’s no way any other person could have reacted as fast as I did that night.”

Salinas is undergoing another surgery Monday at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix. She has paid a heavy price, but says she would do it all over again.

A car wash is being held on Saturday November 21 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Royal Palms Middle School on 19th Avenue and Butler Drive. Proceeds will go toward Jennifer Salinas’ medical expenses.