A woman jogging with her dog in Altadena on Saturday night found a partially buried newborn boy with his umbilical cord still attached, according to Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies, who responded to the call for help she made from a cellular phone.
The woman, who runs every day in the foothills with her dog, discovered the newborn when her dog stopped to smell and scratch at the dirt near Alpine Villa Drive and North Lake Avenue about 8:20 p.m., said sheriff's Deputy Bob Killeen.
The baby was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, where he was listed in critical condition, a sheriff's spokesman said about 10:30 p.m.
After discovering the baby, the woman, identified as Azita Milanian, called 911 on a cellular phone and alerted a passing motorist, who drove to the sheriff's Altadena station and told deputies.
Milanian, an engineer, said she was running in the hills behind her house when her dog left her and ran into the bushes.
"He went after something and I thought it was a dead animal or creature," she said in a phone interview. "Then as I looked deeper in the dirt I could see it was a child.
"I was kind of scared," she said, still shaken almost two hours later. "I wrapped the baby in a towel and wiped the dirt from his face. I thanked God he was alive. . . . The [umbilical] cord was hanging from his stomach.
"I reached for my cellular phone and called 911."
As she waited for the ambulance to arrive, she said she spoke with the baby.
"I was telling him it would be ok," she said. "It took more than 30 minutes for help to arrive. I was pretty emotional.
"I didn't want this child dying in front of me," she said.