Hatzolah Saves the Day for Woman in Labor


snowThe NY Daily News reports: It’s a woman’s nightmare – going into labor during a blizzard. For at least three expectant mothers, that was reality. Maya Gelfand, 32, of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, planned to give birth to twins Jan. 4 via Caesarean section at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan. An intrepid volunteer ambulance crew saved the day.

“Now I can say it was fun,” Gelfand said Monday at Maimonides Medical Center as her newborn sons gurgled softly beside her.

When she went into labor at 11:15 p.m. on Sunday, she and her husband, Vlad, ventured outside to find nothing but stranded cars – and even a snowplow stuck – in growing drifts.

They bundled up and walked three blocks to an N train station, where the station agent informed her the trains were not running.

She and her husband called the Hatzoloh ambulance service, which arrived in 10 minutes. As the two-man crew got her into the rig, Gelfand told them she was due to have a C-section.

“They smiled and said, ‘Don’t worry! You’re in good hands!'” she said, adding she ended up going to Maimonides.

Jovanka Aponte of Brooklyn had a similar scare at 3 a.m. Monday.

Her frantic mother ran out into the street and flagged down a street-cleaning crew, which fetched the FDNY. When firefighters reached her Rogers Ave. home, there was no time to wait for an ambulance. They carried Aponte through the snow in a wheelchair and put her in their fire engine cab.

“I was sitting in a seat behind a firefighter,” said Aponte, 26. “Even the fire truck could barely get through the streets it was so bad.”

The Bravest from Engine 249 and Ladder 132 got her to Kings County Hospital by 5 a.m., and her baby, Nayalee, was born at 1:39 p.m. “Twice, guys had to get out and push vehicles out of the way,” said FDNY Lt. Eric Schroeder.

When Tami Ahmed had her emergency at 9 p.m. on Sunday, the family car was buried and its engine was blown. An ambulance never came, even though 911 was called. A cousin delivered the baby at 1 a.m. Monday in Ahmed’s Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, apartment, with help on the telephone from an EMT and the pediatrician. Firefighters from Engine 330 arrived on foot after their rig got stuck and carried the mother and newborn on a stretcher four blocks to the nearest ambulance.

“It was like being in a Third World country,” Ahmed said of the ordeal as she cradled her baby, Yasmine, at Maimonides.

{NY Daily News/Matzav.com}