Arapahoe County Sheriff's Deputy Nicholas Pacheco hailed as hero after saving baby's life
It's a parent's nightmare – desperately calling for help because a baby isn't breathing.
That's what happened early Sunday morning in Arapahoe County. Thankfully, a well-trained deputy was nearby.
"I think the call came out, and I got there within three minutes," said ArapCo Deputy Nicholas Pacheco.
Pacheco was first to arrive to the home. His body camera captured his race up the stairs behind the child's father, who led him to the baby's frightened mother.
"She just handed me the baby and said, 'Please,'" Pacheco explained to CBS News Colorado. "That's all that she could basically get out."
Right away, Pacheco noticed the one-month-old was blue in his face and lips. He quickly began CPR.
"I was trying to hold the baby and do compressions this way," Pacheco described, using his hands to show how he had the child in his arms. "Then I'd roll him over real quick, give him several back thrusts and roll him back over. He started crying a little bit. You could tell he was trying to cough up something."
The deputy said that 'something' was likely breast milk, possibly mixed with some infant cereal or formula. He said he continued to do compressions and back thrusts until the baby boy's cry turned stronger. About ten minutes later, Pacheco was able to hand the baby to South Metro Fire paramedics, who took the infant to Children's Hospital Colorado.
"Got him breathing, but not sure what else he's got going on though," said Pacheco to the paramedics, as captured on his body camera.
Because of his heroic actions, Pacheco saved baby Carlos' life.
"I'll never forget his name," he said. "It feels amazing. After 8 years of being [with Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office], I think it's one of the highlights of my career so far. I'm just grateful it turned out the way it did."
The baby's father, also named Carlos, told CBS News Colorado's Kelly Werthmann he is very grateful for Pacheco. He also said his son is doing well.
Pacheco was perhaps the perfect person to respond to the call. Not only is he a father himself – and thankful for the frequent CPR training his department provides because he said he can apply it at home – but he's also bilingual. That, he said, was another critical part of his response because he was able to communicate with the family.
"Out on patrol, you can use Spanish on almost a daily basis, whether it's a simple traffic stop or going into someone's home," he said, noting he's working on improving his Spanish. "I think it's very, very imperative that we have Spanish-speaking deputies."