Infant asphyxiation is a severe issue. While there is a lack of awareness of how fragile infants actually are, there are careless authorities and family members who are not aware of this and take drastic steps to cross-step an area that is fatal for their infant, especially the border area. Border areas, even with friendly neighbors, are incredibly volatile and have a changed environmental composition, which might not affect grown-ups but will take a toll on one-month-old babies in seconds.
An incident reported on 23rd September via People shows a video surveillance operator in the US/Mexico border that showed two individuals crossing by foot. This information was released by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection(CBP) authorities and gathered by People. Shortly after the visual display, the authorities said that while one individual had managed to cross the border into Mexico, another was identified as a 16-year-old girl with a one-month-old infant wrapped in a blanket in her arms.
People reports that ‘The Border Patrol agent told the CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) that “the mother was softly crying and sniffling when he first encountered her.” ‘Adding to this, the CBP’s news release added, “The agent reported he observed the mother holding an infant who was covered in a blanket,” and “The agent instructed the mother with child to get into his transport van and proceeded to drive towards the Nogales Border Patrol Station.”
Adding to this, People reports, according to CPB’s release, “That agent began to rapidly escort the mother and infant toward the medical screening area where CBP-contracted medical personnel were located at approximately 3:02 a.m, 11 minutes after their initial encounter,” the release continued. “The second agent observed the infant had labored breathing and moved quickly with the infant toward medical personnel. This agent entered the first available room and medical personnel, consisting of two CBP-contracted nurse practitioners and three Emergency Medical Technicians, immediately began assessing the infant.”
Additionally, People reports, ‘Medical personnel tried to resuscitate the girl before an agent called the Nogales emergency medical services for additional help. Ultimately, Nogales Fire Department EMS personnel took over efforts to save the infant.’
After several failed attempts at recovery, the mother and her infant daughter were taken to Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital, where the baby was pronounced dead at 4. While interviewing the mother after the incident, OPR special agents reported that she said she traveled ahead of a group she was with in order to get her baby to an American hospital when “she noticed her daughter started having difficulty breathing and pain as they approached the U.S./Mexico border.”
Adding to this, the OPR release said, “The mother told OPR, special agents when she first entered the transport van, she observed her daughter was still alive, and could hear her crying and breathing,” the agency shared, adding that as she was being transported, she told an agent that “her daughter was in distress, almost dead, and needed to go to the hospital, but she was unsure if the agent was able to understand her.”
According to CBP reports, once the mother crossed to the Nogales Border Patrol Station, she observed that her daughter was no longer breathing. The OPR agent was quick in his response to take her to a medical examiner, saying, “The mother advised her daughter was ultimately taken to the hospital, where medical personnel informed the woman that her daughter had passed away.”
This heartbreaking incident is a testament to all parents and families to take extra care and nurture their kids and not cross volatile areas, carrying their infants in their arms because they never know the dire consequences of such actions.