ROSEVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) — Sitting near the family Christmas tree in their living room, Rob Spector explains Friday’s frightening phone call from their daycare provider.
“We knew it was serious but we didn’t think it was life serious,” Rob explains.
Spector and his wife Laura can’t fathom the Christmas that might have been. Instead, the couple has been spending these past days at St. Paul Children’s Hospital grateful for the care their infant daughter is receiving.
It all began after a simple afternoon nap at their daughter’s day care on Friday turned into a moment of sheer terror.
“My daughter’s life is owed to her, because it was that close,” Spector said.
It began as the family’s normal weekday routine — the couple’s 7-year-old son and their infant daughter, Savannah, were at Norma O’Connor’s day care not far from the family’s home.
Savannah had what appeared to be a typical morning and was then put down for her afternoon nap.
But when Savannah awoke after sleeping a bit longer than usual, O’Connor soon noticed that she was breathing strangely and appeared more pale.
“She looked like she was going to throw up, so I thought maybe she had the flu, but there was no temp. So then I laid her on her side so she could throw up and it was just a little bit came up. And then she gurgled and when she gurgled, blood came out,” said O’Connor, who has been caring for children in her home for 38 years.
Norma immediately called for paramedics who soon rushed Savannah to St. Paul Children’s Hospital.
Instead of the happy photograph showing Savannah and her brother sitting on Santa’s lap, the infant girl is seen laying in a hospital bed, with breathing tubes and intravenous lines taped to her tiny body.
When asked about her quick response to the signs of trouble, O’Connor simply responds, “I just did my job, that’s all I did. I just did my job. And I think all my friends that I know who do day care, same thing. They would’ve done the same thing. They just do their job.”
But to the child’s parents, Norma’s modesty is nothing short of a Christmas miracle. She was going to retire from day care last spring but decided to stay for one more year to help the Spectors and their new baby girl.
“The doctors say they might not ever know – it could be like a nosebleed and it just happened,” Rob Spector said.
The day care lady who could have retired was there when she was needed most.
“She’s a hero, and she’s the best daycare lady you could ask for,” Rob Spector said.