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College student saves stranger's newborn

March 25, 2013 at 4:09 PM   |   Comments

MACOMB TOWNSHIP, Mich., March 25 (UPI) -- A Michigan college student says he was just doing a "good deed" when he resuscitated a stranger's newborn daughter, saving her life.

Ryan Cornelissen, a 21-year-old criminal justice student at Macomb Community College, said he was driving about 10:45 a.m. on March 16 when he was flagged down by another driver, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The man brought Cornelissen to his car where his wife and her newborn were. The newborn was not breathing.

"I remember the dad yelling to me, 'The baby's not crying!'" Cornelissen said Saturday.

Cornelissen, who was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher, said he rubbed the baby's back to see if she would move, but she didn't.

"I knew I was going to have to do CPR. It was just something I knew I had to do. I didn't hesitate," Cornelissen said, adding that he had been trained and certified in infant and child CPR about three years ago when he worked at a preschool.

"As soon as [the dispatcher] said give her two rescue breaths, I remember fumbling the phone and bringing it back up to my ear," Cornelissen said. "I stood back. All of a sudden the baby made a crying face and started breathing.

"After it was over, the dad came up to me, thanked me numerous times."

The college student said he doesn't consider himself a hero.

"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."

Cornelissen said he has been to see the parents a few times and that the newborn, named Kiera, is at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, where she will remain for another three to five weeks.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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