She went out to eat pancakes — and rescued a bloodied toddler from the Highland Park parade

Lauren Silva, a mother of two from Deerfield, Illinois, headed out Monday morning to have a leisurely breakfast with her boyfriend in Highland Park. She ended up taking care of a shooting victim’s toddler who was still covered in his father’s blood.

Silva, 38, told The Daily Beast she woke up craving banana pancakes at Walker Bros., a breakfast spot on a corner of the Fourth of July parade route.

The former event planner and her boyfriend parked in a nearby garage and appeared at the unfolding scene of the carnage.

“We just opened the door to go up the stairs and we heard it… Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom‘ Silva said. “And it sounded like someone was banging on the glass doors. “

In fact, a rooftop sniper had opened fire on that very corner, killing six people and hospitalizing dozens more.

“I didn’t hear any screaming at all, it was eerily quiet,” she said.

She and her friend rushed to help those who were on the ground when suddenly Silva clutched a toddler in her arms.

“My friend gave me this little boy and said he was under this dad who was shot in the leg,” she said. “They were trying to stop the bleeding so I took the boy downstairs to the garage.”

Silva and the boy huddled together next to another family for safety.

“He kept asking if mum and dad were coming back soon,” Silva remembers.

The boy she said was still in diapers had on a shoe, a few scrapes and a sock that was completely covered in blood.

After cleaning the boy’s cuts and spending what felt like 20 minutes downstairs, Silva reappeared upstairs to inquire about his father’s status. “That’s when my friend said he passed,” she said. The Daily Beast could not confirm this.

Eventually, Silva said, she handed the boy over to the family they were settled with, who said they would take him to the hospital. Later, Silva said, the boy was reunited with his grandparents.

Coping with her shock at what she had seen, Silva said she kept repeating the time in the basement garage with the child.

“The only thing I could hold on to was this boy’s face and his touch and the sound of his voice,” she said. “I feel like I want to hold on to a little emotion I’m feeling – which is telling this boy his dad will come back. “ She went out to eat pancakes — and rescued a bloodied toddler from the Highland Park parade


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