NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Westchester County firefighters who jumped into action to save a toddler’s life were reunited with the little boy and his family Wednesday.
“I don’t want my little man to die. I just wanted him to come back to life,” father Matthew Pino said.
Terrifying moments felt like a lifetime for the Pino family Monday night when 16-month-old Angelo stopped breathing. They raced from their home to Engine Company 23, Laddery Company 13 in New Rochelle.
“Everybody was hanging around doing their normal duties,” said firefighter and father-of-three William Colangelo.
Colangelo told CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock he was on watch when he heard a frantic banging on the front door.
“I ran to the door, and the woman screaming frantically about her baby — ‘My baby’s not breathing,'” he said.
Colangelo grabbed the boy from his mother’s embrace.
“He was limp in my arms,” he said. “Called for help and then everybody came running out.”
“Training kicks in, you do what you’ve got to do, but you’re also thinking about — if you’ve got kids, you know — you’re thinking about your kids,” said fellow firefighter Peter Cordaro.
Seven firefighters raced to the rescue. Cordaro performed CPR. What was going through his mind?
“Scared,” he said.
Colangelo rubbed the boy’s feet to stimulate blood flow, while their fellow firefighters administered oxygen and checked his pulse.
“It felt like we were in here for hours waiting for him to breathe,” mother Amanda Capraro said.
But in reality, it was only about a minute before the most beautiful sound filled the firehouse.
“To see him crying and moving around and breathing on his own — it just hits you in the heart,” said Colangelo.
“The greatest sound is when you hear that baby crying,” added Cordaro.
Wednesday, the family reunited with the firefighters who saved their son, even dressing him up.
“There are not enough ‘thank yous’ in the world to thank them for what they did,” Amanda said.
Mom said he’s already back to being all boy.
“Being a little terror, running around,” she said.
His little life saved thanks to the men in blue.
“It felt like he had an angel watching over him,” she added.
Angelo has breath holding spells – when upset, he involuntarily holds his breath and might lose consciousness for less than a minute. About five percent of children suffer from the spells.
Doctors say what happened to him on Monday is so rare the odds are one in one million.