Toronto baby’s survival story makes international headlines
Paul Johnston and Chris Kitching, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, February 19, 2013 5:18PM EST
The bizarre and miraculous story of a Toronto newborn’s unlikely survival made international headlines and prompted a response from the province’s top health official Tuesday.
“I cannot imagine having gone through that experience,” Minister of Health Deb Matthews said Tuesday, sympathizing with the baby’s mother.
“I think our front-line staff really do want to understand what happened,” she said. “I think they go to work every day [and] give their very, very best – so let’s let the hospital do their investigation. We will be watching it closely.”
The story began early Sunday morning when the child’s mother complained of stomach pains and, along with her mother, began to walk to a local hospital.
During their walk, the 20-year-old woman gave birth to the girl on the street near York Gate Boulevard and Finch Avenue West.
Both mother and baby were rushed to Humber River Regional Hospital’s Finch Avenue West site after they were met by paramedics and police.
Sometime after arriving at the hospital, the child was declared dead and the coroner was called in to investigate.
Some ninety minutes later, a police officer noticed movement under a sheet that covered the child while waiting for the coroner. Officers were able to find a pulse and immediately notified authorities that the baby was alive.
The infant is currently in stable condition in hospital. The baby girl’s mother is also stable and healthy.
By Tuesday afternoon, the story had been picked up by U.S. networks CNN and CBS.
On Monday, health officials said they are currently reviewing the incident.
Humber River sent out a statement Monday afternoon saying the review will be led by Dr. Nalin Ahluwalia, Humber’s Chief of Emergency Medicine, and Dr. Narenda Singh, Humber’s Chief of Paediatrics.
“The review is looking at all aspects of care provided in this case, including the extensive resuscitation efforts by hospital physicians and staff beginning in the ambulance itself when it arrived at the hospital,” the statement said. “The review will be conducted in consultation with all appropriate agencies, including Toronto Police and EMS. The Ministry of Health has been informed as well.”
“There is definitely going to be further investigation as to what transpired and all the events leading up to this, but it was absolutely an extraordinary day for those officers, something that they probably will never experience again in their careers or their lifetime, and an extraordinary day for that little baby girl,” Toronto police spokeswoman Const. Wendy Drummond said Monday.
The baby’s mother has asked to remain anonymous.
Humber River Regional Hospital has launched a review into how and why a newborn baby was declared dead after being brought to it Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013.
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