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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Police Officer Sees Frantic Father in Car Next to Her, Helps Save 9-Day-Old Baby Who Stopped Breathing

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When one family in Pleasant Hills, Pennsylvania, brought their newest little one named Olivia home, they had no idea she had a heart condition — but they soon found out when they experienced a terrifying emergency just nine days after her birth.

Thankfully, when disaster struck on Saturday, a police officer was at hand, and the father, Joe, was able to flag her down.

Officer Kristin Mitrisin was driving a police pickup truck to transport boxes after a drug take-back event. She was on her way to a facility in McKees Rocks when she noticed Joe in the car next to her.

“I heard beeping next to me,” she told WTAE-TV. “I looked over to the side, and I saw a gentleman waving in his car.

“So I put down my window and I asked him, ‘Sir do you need help with something?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I need you to get me to the hospital, my baby’s not breathing.’

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“I said ‘Sir did you just say your baby is not breathing,’ and he said ‘Yes, my baby is not breathing,’ and I said ‘You need to pull over right here. I have to help you here.'”

And she did. She dropped the tailgate on her truck and started performing CPR on the limp, blue-tinted infant right there in a used car parking lot.

“The baby finally took a gasp for air about a minute of CPR,” she said.

The sign of life was a relief, but it took a little more effort before baby Olivia started to cry.

At that point, Mitrisin made the decision to drive the mother and baby to the Brentwood Emergency Room, which was very close by, instead of wait for the paramedics.

“I put the mother and the baby right in the police car, we went right there,” she recalled. “We were there in 20 seconds. I took the baby from the mother, ran it into the doctors.”

After an assessment, doctors learned of Olivia’s heart condition, and the family began to adjust their plans.

A GoFundMe page was started for the family and to keep donors updated on the baby’s progress.

“Mom, Dad and baby girl have a long road ahead,” the page reads. “If you are able and feel led to help this family, any donation would be greatly appreciated. All funds raised will help cover Olivia’s medical and family expenses. Please continue to pray for Olivia’s recovery.”

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On Thursday, a post on the page explained Olivia’s first heart surgery to “build an Aortic arch” and “put a band around her pulmonary artery” was about to take place.

While the road ahead will be difficult, there would have been no way forward if it hadn’t been for the officer’s lifesaving actions.

“I just ask everyone to pray for the baby. Hope she’s able to make a strong recovery through this,” Mitrisin said. “I’m just thankful I was there to help them on that day.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking