Baby with umbilical cord still attached abandoned

March 15, 2012 2:10:26 PM PDT
"You could have it," the mother told her, and with that, 56-year-old Lydia Romero suddenly found herself holding a newborn baby girl on her hallway steps.

The baby's mother disappeared along Rogers Avenue in Crown Heights, leaving Lydia with pampers, a bottle and some clothing. Then, Lydia got the scare of her life.

"She had the umbilical cord wrapped around her. I said, 'Oh my God! I can't do this,'" Romero explained.

She says the baby was moaning and turning blue.

A short time earlier, a 911 caller spotted the baby's mother on Bedford Avenue and urgently told a dispatcher the same thing.

Paramedics Terrence Lau, Carl Gandolfo and EMT Jamaal Shabazz were literally combing the streets and listening to the police scanner when Romero called a police officer for help.

Gandolfo raced in to save the baby.

"I immediately opened the airway, gave two rescue breaths," he said.

As a dad with his own baby, he fought back tears describing how it felt.

"I have a 15-month-old of my own at home, so it definitely hits home when you get a pediatric call," he said.

Police have now arrested the baby's mother, who had told Lydia that she wouldn't go to the hospital because she was "dirty."

"When she says, dirty, her urine - her system is dirty with crack (drugs)," Romero said.

A man who claimed he's the baby's father also came forward late this afternoon, but wouldn't answer much more.

Get Eyewitness News Delivered

Facebook | Twitter | Newsletters | Text Alerts