CHICAGO – A newborn baby was hospitalized Tuesday afternoon after being found abandoned on top of a trash can in a Chicago alley, police said.
Fire officials told WGN that it was about 4 p.m. when a woman and her daughter who lived nearby heard the baby crying, went to the alley, and found the child. The baby was just hours old and still had an umbilical cord attached, police said. The infant was reportedly bleeding when he was found.
The woman and her daughter brought the newborn to a fire station. According to a department spokesperson, the child was "blue, unresponsive, no pulse," and had to be shocked back to life. Paramedics reportedly performed CPR while transporting the baby to a hospital where he was stabilized.
“This poor kid was minutes away from having no chance at all,” Fire Dept. Field Chief Patrick Fitzmaurice told the Chicago Sun-Times. “The baby was cold as concrete. I wasn’t ready to lose this one."
The boy remained in critical condition Tuesday, but officials said his condition is steadily improving.
Authorities are searching for the child's mother, who may face charges.
Under Illinois's Safe Haven law, anyone may drop off a baby to a hospital, police station, or fire station up to 30 days after giving birth, no questions asked. The Sun-Times reports that 131 babies have been saved since the law was passed in 2001.
"I don't know what it's like to have a child, be pregnant, and be in some horrible circumstances where you are driven to do something like this. This almost sounds diabolical," Fitzmaurice said in a news conference. "But come to us, call 911. We would've taken the baby to one hospital and her to another hospital. We won't judge. Don't leave your baby in an alley. Come to a firehouse. Leave the baby there. Give the kid a chance."