Two police officers came to the rescue of a 5-month-old baby who was choking and "turning blue" Thursday in Huntington Station, Suffolk police said.
Second Precinct officers Michael Lavrovsky and Joseph Reilly rushed to a First Avenue home after a 911 call about 4 p.m. from a nanny who said one of the twin infants she was watching was in respiratory distress, police said. They arrived within two minutes of the call, police said, and saw that the 5-month-old baby boy could not breathe.
"When we walked into the house she was saying she was giving the baby a bath and apparently he started throwing up and aspirating," Lavrovsky said. "He was aspirating on formula, so when we got there the baby was lethargic, started getting pale, then turning blue."
Lavrovsky began giving the child first aid by "delivering back blows" to clear his airway, which helped, he said.
Lavrovsky, a father of three with twins on the way, said the experience was harrowing for both he and Reilly, a father of a 1-year-old. "It was scary for me and my partner -- unfortunately last year my partner had a similar call and the child was lost," Lavrovsky said. "It hit home for me . . . We both were nervous, but we kept our heads together and saved the baby so we were happy."
When the ambulance came, Lavrovsky stayed with the infant on the ride to the hospital. While he worked to clear the baby's mouth of fluids and administered oxygen, Reilly coordinated with other police units to shut down major intersections along New York Avenue to clear their path to Huntington Hospital.
The response time -- from the nanny's 911 call to when the officers delivered the baby to hospital staff -- was about 10 minutes, Lavrovsky said.
After they handed the baby off, "We both wanted to just break down in the hospital, but we had to keep ourselves together and hope for the best," he said.
They later learned that a doctor was able to dislodge what was blocking the baby's throat and, as of Thursday evening, the infant was listed in stable condition, Lavrovsky said.
Though he worried the child wouldn't survive, he said the tiny baby gave him a sign of hope as they waited for the ambulance: "You're looking at this child's face, and he's obviously not in a normal state and he's kind of going in and out," Lavrovsky said, "but his hand was on my thumb and he kept squeezing it, and for me that was comforting -- that he kept squeezing my thumb."