Emergency workers who found the baby in the snowy wreckage called him a little miracle, born when he was ripped from his mother's womb as she was killed in a highway crash.
The baby, with only a scratch on his knee, was in fair condition today. He was named Patrick, in honor of a teenager who helped care for him until rescue workers arrived Tuesday morning.
"For the way this baby came into the world, through the hardships this baby survived, it's a miracle baby," said Jeff Landers, one of the rescue workers.
When paramedic Charles Shepherd pulled back a blanket on the snowy embankment, he found the baby still attached by the umbilical cord to his lifeless mother, 31-year-old Olga Maria Nunes Bera-Cruz, who had been cut in half when she was thrown through the windshield of a tractor-trailer.
The infant was motionless. His father, the truck driver, sobbed hysterically. Shepherd grabbed the umbilical cord, and the baby started crying.
Shepherd cut the cord and gave the baby oxygen. During the 15-minute dash to the hospital, "I prayed more on that run than any I've ever prayed before," he said.
The father, Furtado P. Boaventura, 42, of Miami, was treated at the hospital for minor injuries and held his son's tiny hand before the baby was transferred to Kosair Children's Hospital here.
Trisha Welch, 18, and relatives heard the crash from her grandfather's house and were the first at the scene, covering the baby with a blanket. Otherwise, the baby probably would have died in the 15-degree cold, said Jeff Wilson, an emergency medical technician.
After learning the young woman's name--a shortened form of Patricia--the father named the baby Patrick.