December 17, 2005

Positivity: A Life-Saving Catch

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:07 am

The catch of a lifetime saved a baby’s life:

Baby thrown from fire survives 9m plunge into baseballer’s hands
Dec. 17

THE skills of an amateur baseball player came in handy when he caught a one-month-old baby thrown by a desperate mother from a third floor window to save her son from a fire.

New York TV stations yesterday aired a videotape of Wednesday’s rescue in the Bronx taken by a surveillance camera.

It showed the baby, swathed in white, tumbling about 9m into the arms of Housing Authority employee Felix Vazquez, one of several people waiting below.

The Daily News reported firefighters rescued the boy’s mother, Tracinda Foxe, from her apartment soon after she tossed her baby to Mr Vazquez, who plays catcher on a neighbourhood baseball team.

“I said ‘God, please save my son’,” Foxe was quoted as saying. “I prayed that someone would catch him and save his life.”

The fire began minutes after Foxe returned to her apartment from dropping off her two older children – Raymond, 11, and Alexis, 9 – at school.

Cradling Eric in her arms, she drifted off to sleep only to awaken when acrid black smoke filled her apartment.

“I thought about running for the front door but I couldn’t make it,” she said. “I closed the (bedroom) door but then me and my baby were trapped.”

Ms. Foxe squeezed the newborn through the window’s metal guards so the screaming infant could gulp in fresh air.

Spotting the baby, Mr. Vazquez told some of his workers to run to the third floor to help while he and others hopped a fence and prepared to make a desperate catch. Screaming “Save my son, save my son”, Ms. Foxe dropped the child to Mr. Vazquez, who was standing like a football player poised to catch a punt.

“He wasn’t crying, so I gave him mouth-to-mouth,” said Mr. Vazquez, 39, a former lifeguard. “I felt like it was one of my own – I have three – and when he started crying, I felt even better.”

Moments later, firefighters burst into the apartment, found a hysterical Ms. Foxe and gave her an oxygen mask.

Mother and child were treated at hospital and released.

….. When Ms. Foxe returned to her burned-out home yesterday to collect some of Eric’s singed clothes and toys, she spotted Mr. Vazquez, who was already back to work, and thanked him.

“It’s going to be hard since I’ve lost almost everything,” said Ms Foxe. “But most importantly, my baby is okay. I am so thankful.”

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