"I'm a mother of two children, so I would hope someone could help me," officer Kristin Mitrisin said of helping the family

By Joelle Goldstein
April 28, 2021 03:28 PM
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A Pennsylvania police officer is being praised as a hero after saving the life of a baby who had stopped breathing in the backseat of her parents' car.

Joe Schleicher told NBC affiliate WPXI that he and his wife were driving their 9-day-old daughter, Olivia, to the hospital on Saturday when the terrifying ordeal unfolded.

However, thanks to the quick actions of Pleasant Hills officer Kristin Mitrisin, Olivia was given a second chance at life and is now at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHOP), preparing to undergo surgery for a heart condition, the outlet reported.

"She saved my baby's life so I'm very thankful," Schleicher told WPXI. "Words can't even explain how I feel and how thankful I am."

In a statement on Facebook, the Borough of Pleasant Hills said of the incident: "Pleasant Hills Borough is proud to have Officer Mitrisin."

Earlier in the day, Olivia had been acting fussy, which caused her parents to become concerned, according to the outlet.

It wasn't until they were driving her to the hospital that Schleicher said things took a turn for the worst.

"[My wife] said, 'She's not breathing, she's not breathing. I have to get her out of the car seat,' and we were sitting at a red light at that point," Schleicher recalled to WPXI of the scary moment.

Luckily, Schleicher noticed that a police officer was just a few cars up, so he made his way over to her vehicle before frantically attempting to get Mitrisin's attention, the outlet reported.

"I heard beeping next to me," Mitrisin told WPXI. "I looked over, I saw a male driver waving to me. I put down the window."

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After Schleicher explained to Mitrisin that Olivia was not breathing, the officer quickly jumped into action and told the parents to pull over into a nearby lot, WPXI reported. Mitrisin then took the baby from her dad before beginning chest compressions.

"I... basically just put the life in the cop's hands," Schleicher explained to WPXI.

In the meantime, a bystander showed up and also offered to help Mitrisin, according to the outlet.

"I asked him, 'Sir, can you please get the AED out of my car?'" Mitrisin recalled. "He said, 'Yes I'm a corrections officer, I'll help you.'"

As Schleicher and his wife watched on, the new dad said they were both feeling terrified and unsure of what would happen.

"Obviously, it's very scary to have your child in the back of a truck with AEDS on her," he explained to WPXI. "And she started turning blue."

But moments later, the parents' fear turned to relief as they heard their daughter cry — a noise Mitrisin described as "the best cry" she had ever heard, WPXI reported.

As Olivia continues to recover at CHOP, her dad said they hope to reunite with the heroic officer after his daughter undergoes surgery.

"If the officer would be willing to meet the baby and meet up with us after she comes out of the hospital, that's something we'd definitely be interested in," Schleicher shared with WPXI. "I feel like she may feel as proud as we are knowing that she saved the baby."

As for Mitrisin, she told the outlet she's just happy to have given the baby girl another chance at life, especially as a parent herself.

"I'm a mother of two children so I would hope someone could help me," Mitrisin said.