She went out to eat pancakes and saved a blood-smeared toddler at the Highland Park parade

Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via Getty

Lauren Silva, a mother of two from Deerfield, Illinois, left Monday morning for a leisurely breakfast with her boyfriend in Highland Park. She ended up caring for the toddler of a parade victim still covered in her 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 July 4 parade route.

The former event planner and her boyfriend pulled into a nearby garage and emerged onto the scene of the unfolding carnage.

Parade’s uncle shooting ‘person of interest’: ‘I saw no signs of trouble’

“We were opening 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 knocking on the glass doors. “

In fact, a sniper had opened fire from the roof at that exact angle, killing six people and hospitalizing dozens more.

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

She and her boyfriend rushed to help those lying on the ground when suddenly Silva had a toddler pushed into her arms.

“My boyfriend handed 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 for safety, alongside another family.

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

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

After cleaning the boy’s cuts and being downstairs for what she said felt like 20 minutes, Silva reappeared upstairs to inquire about her father’s status. “That’s when my boyfriend said he died,” she said. The Daily Beast was unable to confirm this.

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

As she dealt with her shock at what she had seen, Silva said she continued to replay the hour in the basement of the garage with the child.

“The only thing I could hang on to was this kid’s face, his touch and the sound of his voice,” she said. “I feel like I want to keep, like, a little bit of emotion that I’m feeling – that’s telling this boy that his dad was coming back.”

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