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Heroes that saved newborn honored

The four soft-spoken Elmhurst teenagers who saved the life of an abandoned newborn infant are becoming overnight celebrities as more than a dozen media outlets jostled for position to snap their photos at a ceremony at Elmhurst Hospital Center that honored their heroic actions.
State Senator John Sabini presented citations to Christopher and Brian Moncada, Gabriel Mercedes and Luis Calderon, whose quick-thinking intuition and compassion helped save the life of baby Christina Noel on the night of December 17.
“Baby Christina is alive today thanks to the clearheaded action of these four young men,” Sabini said. “I salute them for their quick thinking and for saving a baby that had no one else in the world.”
The four teens were coming home from a night of skateboarding around 8 p.m. on December 17 when Cordero heard crying coming from a trash dumpster two blocks from the Moncada’s apartment on Lamont Avenue.
When the teens realized that the crying was coming from a newborn baby - only three hours old - they immediately called 9-1-1, and Christopher and Mercedes hurried to the local 110th Precinct while Brian and Cordero waited near the dumpster for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workers to arrive.
When EMS personnel arrived, Mercedes and Cordero rode in the emergency vehicle to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where officials helped stabilize the newborn child whom hospital staffers quickly named Christina Noel.
Three days later on December 20, baby Christina Noel’s condition had improved and hospital officials released her from the facility. After her release, the city’s Administration of Child Services (ACS) placed her with a foster family.
“We’re all glad that she [Christina Noel] is alright, and knowing that she’s OK makes us feel great,” said a shy Gabriel Mercedes during the awards presentation on December 28.
During the ceremony, the Moncada family also held up a Christmas present they purchased for baby Christina Noel - a blanket and a little outfit for her to wear - which Sabini’s office will pass along to ACS in order to make sure that baby Christina Noel receives it.
While the cameras crowded around the shy teens, who all said they were just doing what they were supposed to do, they said the excitement of being on TV has not gone to their heads, but they are certainly reaping loads of extra attention.
“Everyone in class crowded around us and congratulated me because I did the right thing,” said a bashful 13-year-old Brian Moncada, describing the first time he returned to school at I.S. 73.
In addition to honoring the teens, Sabini and Elmhurst Hospital Center Executive Director Chris Constantino reminded New Yorkers about the Safe Haven law to avert a potential tragedy from occurring.
“These young men are certainly to be commended for what they have done,” Constantino said. “However, there isn’t any reason for an infant to be abandoned in such a manner. Anyone can leave a baby at any hospital, police station, fire station or other suitable location, where someone is present, with no questions asked.”

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