Goshen mom meets dispatcher who saved son's life; dramatic 911 call released

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Joe Torres has the latest

An Orange County mother whose son who had stopped breathing on Wednesday got the chance to meet the dispatcher who helped save his life.

Samantha Burke and Courtney Starace share a special kind of bond, joined by the desperation captured on dramatic newly-released 911 calls.

"I have a 2-month-old, he's not breathing," Burke is heard saying. "I need help. I need help. I'm by myself. Please just get me help. ma'am. I'm freaking out. Ma'am, I need help."

It was last month when the mother of two called 911 in an absolute panic. And Starace, a dispatcher who is also an EMT, picked up the call. And before she told Burke what to do, she instructed her what not to do.

Starace: "Are you slapping his back?"
Burke: "Yes!"
Starace: "OK, stop slapping his back."
Burke: "OK."
Starace: "I'm going to tell you how to help him."
Burke: "OK, tell me."

"It is definitely not easy to keep yourself calm when your child is blue," Burke said. "But all that kept going through my head was that I needed to stay calm and do this for him."

Burke told the dispatcher her son, Andrew, wasn't choking. He has RSV, a common respiratory virus. Starace, in a clear and calm voice, told the 38-year-old mom how to perform CPR.

Starace: "Make sure the baby is flat on the ground."
Burke: "Yes, he is."
Starace: "I want you to place two fingers on the breastbone in the center of the chest right between the nipples."
Burke: "Yup. Got it."
Starace: "Pump the chest hard and fast 30 times, at least twice per second."
Burke: "I'm doing it. His eyes are open now."
Starace: "His eyes are open?"
Burke: "Yes."
Starace: "Is he breathing?"
Burke: "Yes. Oh my God. He's crying. That's good.")

"I didn't even really know what to think at that point, when he was screaming," Burke said. "I was just so happy that he was breathing."

The 27-year-old Starace has served as a 911 dispatcher for only eight months, and pediatric calls are not all that common. It was the support of her colleagues that helped get her through a challenging emergency.

"It made me feel like I made a difference," she said. "And that was big for me."
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