Ryan Cornelissen wants to meet the 911 dispatcher who helped him save a premature baby’s life.
The 21-year-old Michigan man was flagged down by a frantic father whose wife had just given birth to a premature baby girl who wasn’t breathing, NBC-affiliate WCSH in Portland, Me., reports. While on the phone with a 911 dispatcher, Cornelissen was told how to perform CPR on the infant, which saved her life.
"There were a million things running through my head," Cornelissen told the Macomb Patch. "I wish I could just meet that dispatcher because he was the one who was so calm."
Steven Kukuk, the 911 dispatcher, was quickly informed about the newborn's distressed condition.
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“The baby’s not crying, it’s not breathing right now,” Cornelissen said, at the start of the six-minute call. The baby’s parents, both Vietnamese, spoke limited English, he added.
The couple was headed to the hospital on March 16 when the mother gave birth in their car. With the umbilical cord still attached to the mother, Cornelissen was walked through the steps to save the 3-pound, 8-ounce infant.
After rubbing the newborn’s back didn’t jumpstart the baby’s breathing, Kukuk told Cornelissen that the next step was CPR.
"Honestly, when (the dispatcher) said you might have to do CPR, I thought, 'I can do it,'" Cornelissen told the Detroit Free Press.
Cornelissen, a criminal justice student at Macomb Community College, is certified in CPR but had only performed the procedure in training, the Macomb Patch reports.
"As soon as he said give her two rescue breaths, I remember fumbling the phone and bringing it back up to my ear," Cornelissen told the news outlet. "I stood back. All of a sudden the baby made a crying face and started breathing."
Cornelissen says the baby is named Kiera and will remain at the hospital for another three to five weeks.
The Michigan student remains humble about the ordeal.
"I don't think what I did needs recognition. I did a good deed," he said. "I just happened to be in the right place in the right time, and I helped a family out."