General Crime

* Rick Chaeff Santa Clara County Sheriff recounts saving 17 day-old infant’s life

When Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Chaeff showed up at the Goodies coffee shop in Campbell this morning, perhaps the last thing he expected to face was a life-or-death situation involving a 17-day-old infant.”A woman came in and she was screaming…all I remember hearing was ‘not breathing,’ and ‘baby’ and ‘help help,'” Chaeff remembered. Earlier in the morning, Deputy Mike Laddy had called Chaeff and asked him to meet at Goodies on South Bascom Ave. to discuss their plans for the day.As they chatted, a woman rushed into the restaurant saying that her 17-day-old granddaughter was not breathing. She said she and the baby’s mother were at home about a half a block away from the restaurant when they noticed the baby had stopped breathing. On their way to the hospital, they noticed patrol cars in the parking lot of the restaurant and decided to stop and ask for help.Without hesitation, Chaeff, a licensed chiropractor, followed the woman to a car parked in front of the restaurant and began evaluating the baby who was inside with her mother.”She looked like the color of a plum,” Chaeff recounted. “It took a few tries to get air into her.” With the help of his partner, Chaeff was able to get mucous out of the infant’s lungs and once the baby was resuscitated, an ambulance took her to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.The infant is in stable condition, Chaeff said.”She looks dandy now,” he said.Chaeff said he has taught emergency medical procedures, but the infant was the youngest patient he has ever come across.”It’s obviously terrifying when you’ve got a two week old tiny thing,” he said. “It was a bit wild for a while. But it all worked out as well as it could have, so I’m very relieved.”Chaeff added, “I’m going to sleep really well tonight.”

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