Medics deliver baby on side of road during snowstorm
A Conn. couple was on the way to the hospital when her water broke at a red light; the baby was crowning when an ambulance arrived
By David Owens and Kelly Glista
The Hartford Courant
HARTFORD, Conn. — Born during the end of a crippling snowstorm, on the side of a busy Hartford street, on the morning of Valentine's Day, little Emmanuel Inyong made an unforgettable entrance into the world.
An American Medical Response ambulance crew and Hartford firefighters helped Blessing Inyang and her husband, Eubong, deliver the healthy baby boy on Asylum Avenue at 8:41 a.m. Friday.
The mother and father were on their way to Hartford Hospital from their home in Bloomfield when the baby decided he wasn't going to wait.
"This one decided to come on his own time," said Blessing Inyang.
Eubong said they were at home when his wife began feeling contractions. They were about 3 miles from Hartford Hospital when she told him, "I don't think we're going to make it."
"They were stopped at the light and the water broke," said Hartford Fire Capt. James McLoughlin said. "They called 911."
Eubong Inyang pulled over on Asylum Avenue, just east of Scarborough Street, and called 911.
The dispatcher began talking Eubong through what to do. A woman who was shoveling snow on the side of Asylum Avenue came over to help and held the phone while Eubong Inyang prepared to deliver his son.
"I became a doctor all of a sudden," he said, laughing.
An AMR ambulance crew and firefighters from Engine 14 on Blue Hills Avenue responded.
The ambulance crew, Paramedic Brandon Bartell and Emergency Medical Technician Assaf Harrari, was first to arrive and took over care of Blessing Inyang from her husband. When firefighters arrived, the baby was crowning, McLoughlin said.
"I knew pretty quickly that we had to deliver the baby," Bartell said. He said although he has delivered babies before, this was his first experience delivering a baby outside of a hospital.
Fire Capt. Peter Towey said roads were slippery but passable at the time, and traffic was moving. Eubong Inyang said that as the first responders arrived and traffic backed up, the other drivers must have thought there was an accident on the road.
"It was just the baby's time to come," Towey said. "The mother and father did a great job and worked hard and delivered a wonderful little boy."
The baby weighed in at 8 pounds, 3 ounces. Eubong Inyang said they named the baby Emmanuel, which means "God is with us," because of the way he came into the world.
"It's a gift," said Blessing Inyang.
The ambulance crew took mom and baby to Hartford Hospital. Bartell said that the parents were very calm and that as soon as Emmanuel was born he started crying, which was a good sign.
"Everything was normal and [Bartell and Harrari] took pride in delivering a baby boy in a vehicle on the side of the street," said AMR operations manager Chris Chaplin.
Both Emmanuel and his mother were exhausted, but healthy at the hospital Friday afternoon. Blessing and Eubong said they hope to be able to take their new baby home on Saturday. The couple also have a 2-year-old daughter named Favour.
"It's always good when you have a happy ending to a call," Towey said.