Nurse saves baby who stopped breathing on flight

3-month-old’s lips were blue when Tamara Panzino jumped in to help on Spirit plane

Finding your baby isn’t breathing has to be one of the scariest things a parent can experience. Imagine such an emergency while you’re on a flight, unable to call 911.

One family faced just that scenario Thursday while on a flight from Pittsburgh to Atlanta. Lucky for them, retired nurse Tamara Panzino was also a passenger on that Spirit Airlines plane.

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Panzino told WESH she had her earbuds in and was reading a book when she heard a flight attendant say, “We have an infant not breathing.”

When the plane’s crew asked if there were a doctor on board, the retired nurse rushed to help out.

“I didn’t know what I was dealing with,” Panzino told WESH. “I saw an infant. The head was just back. And blue lips ... my heart just dropped.”

The former nurse handed the 3-month-old to its dad and began a sternal rub, which is “kind of an aggressive shake of the chest,” she told WESH. “Get the baby to react by pinching it. Trying to make it cry or take a deep breath.”

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The procedure was successful, and the baby’s color began to return to normal, eliminating the need for Panzino to perform CPR on the infant.

“We extend our deepest gratitude to Tamara for coming to the aid (of) our guests, and we applaud our crew for their quick response,” the airline said in a statement to CNN Travel.

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