From the New York Times, March 29:
Nanny Is Hit by Truck While Seeking Help to Save a Choking Baby
An Upper East Side nanny trying to save a choking boy was struck by a truck yesterday after she wandered into a busy Manhattan street on her way to the hospital, the police said. When she collapsed from her injuries, strangers and a police officer took the child from her, revived him and took him to the hospital.
The year-old boy, Nicholas Brodie, was on a respirator at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell hospital last night, having suffered trauma to his lungs after he almost choked on a piece of orange. His nanny, Gracelyn Niles, was in stable condition at the same hospital, and underwent surgery for injuries to both legs, the police said.
Ms. Niles, a mother of two from Brooklyn, has cared for Nicholas since he was 3 months old, said John Brodie, the boy’s father. “That she would have put her own life at risk to save my son is really incredible,” he said, his voice cracking during a telephone interview.
After Ms. Niles passed Nicholas along, a suit salesman; a police officer and his friend; and finally the doctors at the hospital worked to keep the child breathing.
Nicholas started choking around 9 a.m. yesterday, in the Brodies’ 12th-floor apartment on East 72nd Street. Ms. Niles, who was at home with him, scooped the boy up, jumped in the elevator to head for the hospital, the police said. When she emerged from the building, Ms. Niles was in a panic, screaming for someone to help the baby, said Ileen Drepaul, who works at a drugstore down the block.
Ms. Niles, wandered into Second Avenue with Nicholas in her arms. An exterminator’s truck headed toward her.
“There was a sound, like a knock,” Ms. Drepaul said.
And then Ms. Niles fell backward, guiding Nicholas to a soft landing on her chest, Ms. Drepaul said.
Mitchell O. Perry, who sells men’s suits at Bloomingdale’s, said he saw the woman and the baby lying in the road.
“There was an officer standing there,” Mr. Perry said. “I picked up the baby and I forced it into his arms, and I said, ‘Let’s go.’ ”
The officer, Edgard Louis-Juste, 41, said he had hesitated to move the child because he did not want to risk injuring him further. “I was not about to pick up the baby and do more damage,” he said, adding that he and Mr. Perry “reached for the baby together.”
When Nicholas landed in the officer’s arms, he was not breathing. A friend of the officer’s, Danny Rivera, drove them in his Suburban, which is fitted with turret lights because of Mr. Rivera’s work as a fire police officer in Pennsylvania.
“We went lights and sirens” to the hospital, Mr. Rivera said.
While Mr. Rivera drove, Officer Louis-Juste cleared the boy’s mouth and patted him on the back. “The baby started coughing, and it spat the whole thing up,” he said. “Blood, mucus and an orange substance.”
Nicholas started breathing again, just shallow breaths at first. Officer Louis-Juste recalled saying: “There you go. You’re not going to leave me. You’re going to come back.”
At the hospital, John Brodie and his wife, Honor, thanked the officer, and they all hugged and started crying together, the officer said.
At the scene of the accident, the driver of the exterminator’s truck, Gerald Cuciti, spoke to investigators with a mournful look. “I couldn’t see her until she was basically up against the truck,” he said of Ms. Niles.
“I just hope she’s O.K.,” he said.
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