With Mothers Day coming up, one mom is feeling extra special. Crews from Palominas and Fry Fire districts in Cochise County helped the new mom and her sister keep the baby boy breathing back in December.

He was just 25 weeks old.

“My sister said hes dying,” Hannah Struse said. “I said I know.’

Struse and her sister Hope Foreman pulled over in Hereford to meet paramedics, because they knew they wouldnt make it to the hospital, after Foreman delivered her son at 25 weeks old.

I dont really remember too much other than, I felt completely devastated because I thought he was gone, Foreman said.

She delivered her baby in the bathroom shortly after returning home from the hospital. She and her family went to the hospital because she was in pain an bleeding. There, the doctors told her it was a kidney infection and sent her home.

“I didnt know I was having a baby, Foreman, a first-time mom, said.

She said she called for her sister, who told her baby had come out in the amniotic sac. Struse unclogged the baby’s airways and had Foreman keep him warm with skin-to-skin contact. When they heard him cry and move, they left the house to meet the paramedics closer to town.

“They were just as heartbroken as I was, Foreman said about the paramedics.

For Fry Fire District, baby Elliot was a family member because Struse works for them. She said she called Captain Luis Canez, because she knew it was his ambulance coming, to give them a heads up about what was happening.

I didnt need to do it all on my own any longer, Struse said.

Canez said having the information ahead of time helped them prepare for what they were about to see.

A very tiny baby,” he said. “(He was) blue, purple. Lifeless.

Struse took the baby from Foreman so the paramedics could help her, while Struse and the Fry Fire team worked on the baby.

We just (did) mouth-to-mouth and you can feel the air going into his lungs.

Once the baby was stable, the packed ambulance headed to the hospital. Canez, Struse and firefighter Michael Kean performed compressions and CPR on the baby, because their neonatal equipment was too big.

It felt like (Canez) had to walk a mile to get from there to here, to get equipment,” Struse said. “It felt like forever.

Gustavo Cantu was treating and helping Foreman, although he said she wasn’t saying much. Foreman finally learned her baby was alive at the hospital.

I dont really know if you can describe the feeling, just because it still was heartbreaking,” Foreman said. “Even though he was stable, he wasn’t supposed to be here yet. And he had no chance in the world is what it felt like.

“He seems to be a tough little guy.

Elliot spent two months in the NICU in Tucson. Foreman said he came home on oxygen, and was on it for two weeks. She said she set alarms to check on him, even though the doctors said he was okay.

Theres really no way to explain it other than hes a miracle because the odds were stacked against him, Foreman said.

The life saving efforts earned the crew the David R. Deary recognition. The crews say the recognition is nice but having baby Elliot here is what matters.

I think even if the award didnt exist, I think just having one of our family members survive is an award in itself, Kean said.