Editorials

A glimmer rises from the cold, dark waters of Silver Lake

Hero paramedic who saved baby from Silver Lake tells his story

Paramedic Todd Zobrist is being hailed a hero after saving a baby from a vehicle that went into Silver Lake in Highland, IL, on Thursday morning. Police say the baby’s mother, Cristy Campbell, 32, of Glen Carbon, IL, drove a blue-gray Nissan Armad
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Paramedic Todd Zobrist is being hailed a hero after saving a baby from a vehicle that went into Silver Lake in Highland, IL, on Thursday morning. Police say the baby’s mother, Cristy Campbell, 32, of Glen Carbon, IL, drove a blue-gray Nissan Armad

There are so many reasons to be upset about the tragedy that befell the seven Campbell children, damage you fear will follow them through their lives and questions without logical answers and some with very ugly answers.

But there also is reason for hope.

Their father was shot and then their house was set ablaze in Glen Carbon. Their mother fled with her new baby before crashing and drowning in a Highland lake.

All seven children survived the violence that ended their parents’ lives. The most miraculous is the survival of the youngest, the 3-month-old baby boy pulled from the cold waters of Silver Lake.

Paramedic Todd Zobrist jumped into the lake before dawn and swam 75 feet to the car. He felt around inside the car and felt nothing, but thought he saw a doll floating. It was the baby, and Zobrist was able to revive him atop the partially submerged car.

He then swam back to shore, keeping the baby out of the water as his muscles began screaming and hypothermia set in.

“When everyone heard someone jumped in the water, there was no question of who it was,” Highland Fire-EMS Chief Brian Wilson said.

Some day that baby boy will grow into a life made possible by Zobrist.

His six siblings have found a community that wants to help them and cares about their futures. Multiple efforts to clothe and provide for their futures sprang up after their home burned.

Whatever challenges they face living with the results of their parents’ actions, they have family to care for them and a community that cares. They also have proof of heroes and miracles whenever they look at their baby brother.

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