'I thought he was dead': Bathurst police officer revives newborn

When Camie Basque's newborn son, Mickael, stopped breathing, she thought his short life was over.

"I was picturing him in a coffin, I really thought he was gone," said the Bathurst mother, whose son was born April 14.

On Sunday, Basque had just finished feeding Mickael, when she noticed his lips were turning blue, his face was grey and he wasn't moving.

She tried to wake him up by touching his back and moving his arms. 

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"When I put his chest to my ear I couldn't hear any breathing," she said. "He was not giving any sign of being alive at all.

"I thought he was dead."

Basque's partner, Marc-Antoine Boivin, was outside playing with their two-year-old son Jacob, and rushed inside and called 911, then started to give Mickael mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Neither parent has CPR training, and they struggled as they followed directions from the 911 operator.  

A mother's nightmare

"I got overwhelmed, I was literally in the corner crying," Basque said. "I didn't know what was going on."

About three minutes after the 911 call, Sgt. Karl Hachey of the Bathurst Police Force arrived. 

He grabbed the baby, who was lying on the living-room floor, and started to perform CPR.

Within minutes, Mickael was breathing again and let out a cry.

"It was the best noise I've ever heard in my life," said Hachey, who relied on CPR training from his earlier years with the force.

"I said a little prayer out loud when he came through and started crying." 

For Basque, those six minutes felt like a lifetime.

"The worst six minutes of my life," she said.

A happy ending

When other first responders arrived, Hachey handed Mickael over to paramedics, and they took him to the Chaleur Regional Hospital, where he was given oxygen.

Basque traces Mickael's breathing problem to a recent bout of pneumonia.

He had already been to the hospital three times because he was congested and not feeling well. Last weekend, he was kept at the hospital for 24 hours and was brought home Saturday night, on the eve of his terrifying inability to breathe at all.

​After his revival at home, he has been breathing on his own since Tuesday night, but the family expects he'll be in the hospital for another week. He's been put on antibiotics and is looking better.

"It's really nice to see him without all the tubes," Basque said. "I couldn't recognize my baby … it wasn't fun to see."

Basque is grateful to Hachey and all the first responders who helped save the baby.

"He literally saved my son's life," she said. "God knows if he wouldn't have arrived, if [Mickael] would still be with us."

The family has been in touch with Hachey and the Bathurst police, sending a thank you card and photos of Mickael.

But Hachey says he was just glad to help.

"It was just nice to see the baby breathing on his own again," he said. "That was thanks enough." 

'He just started his life'

In the back of her mind, Basque said, is a worry that something like this will happen again once the whole family is together at home. She constantly checks her son's breathing.

"He's not even three weeks, he just started his life," she said.

Basque plans to take her CPR training once her son gets out of hospital and is advising other parents to get their training too.

"You never know when it could be your kid."