Speedy cops, doorman come to aid of baby struggling to breathe

Four-month-old Jordyn Rose was baptized Sunday at Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral. But on Saturday, she was rescued in a different way.

What started out as normal crying turned into her parents' nightmare when Jordyn's face turned white, her lips grew blue and she gasped for air, struggling to breathe.


"There's no feeling like it," Matthew Howeth, Jordyn's father said. "My heart's never beat so fast."

Living directly across from the Talbott Hotel on Delaware Place downtown, Howeth and his fiancee, Kristin Creed, wrapped Jordyn in a blanket and ran outside their apartment building. They frantically tried to hail a cab in the jammed St. Patrick's Day traffic, to no avail.


"I could sense the panic," said Talbott doorman Dwayne Neff, who would often greet the couple when they left the apartment.

Because of the holiday festivities, Neff said he had to wait 20 or 30 minutes to nab cabs for hotel guests Saturday. He knew that this couple wasn't going to get a cab by throwing themselves into traffic, so he looked for another option.

"I looked to my right, and I saw two officers who I recognized immediately," Neff said. "And as soon as I ran up to the squad car, they ran right into action."

Those Chicago police officers — Karen Wojcikowski and Michael Seiser — put the panicking couple into their squad car, turned on their sirens and wove through jammed traffic to Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, just blocks away.


Seiser, who once had a friend whose baby had a severe allergic reaction to peanuts, was worried that the baby would stop breathing completely.

"I was afraid that in this case the child's tongue would swell and her throat would constrict and close," Seiser said. "Time was of the essence."

Calling an ambulance, something Jordyn's parents said never crossed their minds, would have taken much longer, the officers said.

In a way, it was a blessing that neither parent thought to call an ambulance, Wojcikowski said.

After spending the night at the hospital and having several tests done, doctors said little Jordyn Rose — named after Bulls stars Michael Jordan and Derrick Rose — was healthy. Doctors couldn't nail down exactly what had happened, but Jordyn's parents suspect an allergy could have been the culprit.

"She's only 4 months old, so we haven't had her tested or anything," Howeth said. "But it's definitely something we'll be doing immediately."

Jordyn made it to her baptism Sunday, where she wore her grandfather's baptismal gown. By Sunday afternoon, the sleepy baby was in her "after-party dress" — cream-colored with ruffles — celebrating with her family at the Talbott Hotel, an event the couple planned weeks ago.

Neff, who describes himself as a spiritual man, said he believes that the baby's rescue was a "divine intervention" because everyone was seemingly at the right place at the right time.


Wojcikowski said the fact that the scary event was so close to the baby's baptism made her feel the same way.

"I honestly think this was a case of divine intervention," Wojcikowski said, "because of the fact that we were there at the right time, and they came to us and we immediately got them to the hospital and then she was being baptized today."

Jordyn's parents thanked Neff and the two police officers who helped them get Jordyn to the hospital quickly.

"This girl is everything to us, and when we saw her acting the way she was, it scared us beyond belief," Howeth said. "We can't thank them enough for their fast acting and also how concerned they were for us and our well-being and Jordyn's well-being. It just really meant the world to us. It was a real miracle."