At first the baby started screaming. Then her tiny face turned white and her lips blue.
"She began gasping for air," said Kristin Creed, 24, who was home Saturday afternoon with her fiance, Matthew Howeth, and their 4-month-old baby, Jordyn Rose, at their Gold Coast apartment when panic mode set in.
"I threw a blanket around the baby and we ran downstairs," said Howeth, 25. "Kristin ran out to the street and practically tried to throw herself in front of multiple cabs, but they were not helping us. . . . They were taking people from bar to bar celebrating St. Patrick's Day and had no idea what was going on. . . . We were about to start running down Michigan Avenue to the hospital."
Fortunately for the couple, the doorman from the Talbott Hotel across the street from their building, in the 100 block of East Delaware, noticed the frantic mother, saw a police car down the block and took flight.
"I'm 54, but I can still run pretty good, especially if there's a baby that needs help," said Dwayne Neff, who flagged down the squad car.
Officer Mike Seiser rolled down the window and sized up the situation quickly. He ushered mother, father and infant into the back seat of his squad car, switched on his emergency lights and sirens and rushed six blocks to Lurie Children's Hospital.
"I knew I could get the child there faster than waiting for an ambulance," said Seiser, whose partner, Keren Wojcikowski, radioed ahead so emergency room physicians would be ready.
Doctors monitored the infant, who eventually calmed down and began breathing regularly again. The parents suspect an allergic reaction might be to blame. "She's only four months old. We haven't had her tested for allergies yet, but we're going to," Howeth said.
"We just want to thank the Chicago Police Department, as well as Dwayne," Creed said. "This girl is everything to us, and when we saw her acting the way she was, it scared us beyond belief."
The afternoon's events were a matter of "divine intervention," said Neff, a comment that resonated, especially because the infant was christened Sunday morning at Holy Name Cathedral.
"In hindsight, maybe we should have called an ambulance, but the officers ended up getting us to the hospital faster than an ambulance would have," said Howeth, who attends John Marshall Law School with his fiance.
After addressing the media Sunday evening alongside everyone who played a hand in the rescue, Creed looked at her baby, who is named after former and present Chicago Bulls stars Michael Jordan and Derrick Rose, and said, "Let's make that your last ride in the back of a squad car."