Chicago officer who saved tot happy to hear screaming
BY JON SEIDEL Staff Reporter email@example.com July 29, 2012 5:56PM
Chicago Police officer Edward Pakula who saved a baby's life on the Chicago Skyway, during news conference at Chicago Police HQ, Sunday, July 29, 2012 . | John H. White~Sun-Times.
Updated: August 31, 2012 6:16AM
The wail of a 21-month-old boy at the hospital became “the greatest noise in the world” to the Chicago police officer credited with saving the child’s life Saturday on the Chicago Skyway.
Officer Ed Pakula said he was on his way to the Indiana border at 12:24 p.m. when the boy’s father flagged him down by the McDonald’s parking lot. The man led him to the unconscious boy who wasn’t breathing and whose eyes had rolled to the back of his head.
Pakula said he didn’t stop to think — his training kicked in. He called for help, put the boy on the asphalt with his hand beneath the child’s head, and he started giving the boy CPR. With each puff of breath, he said, the boy struggled to wake up.
With the third breath, he said, the child’s eyes and color came back and he started breathing on his own. Soon the Chicago Fire Department arrived and the boy was taken by ambulance to Trinity Hospital.
“Where he was screaming up a storm,” Pakula said.
The 17-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department said he didn’t want to think about what would have happened if he hadn’t driven by at the right time. He suggested someone else might have stepped up.
But he said the boy’s family — an upset 4-year-old big brother among them — was very grateful. Pakula said they live in a northern suburb. They haven’t been named.
The boy was released from the hospital Sunday, Pakula said.
Even though he’s pulled people out of burning buildings three times in his career, Pakula said he never before had to use CPR to save someone’s life. And this ordeal hit a little too close to home.
Pakula has a 29-month-old child of his own.
“It took a while for my hands to stop shaking,” he said. “It’s kind of overwhelming.”