Paramedics help woman give birth in N.Y. subway

January 12, 1993|By New York Daily News

NEW YORK -- "Rush hour" took on new meaning for Vida Boateng yesterday when she boarded an IRT No. 3 train as a mother of one child and got off a mother of two.

She gave birth to a curly haired, 7-pound, 1-ounce girl in a subway car that was rapidly converted to a subterranean delivery room by Emergency Medical Service and Transit Authority personnel.

Ms. Boateng, 22, set out from her home on St. John's Place in Brooklyn in the morning to shop for baby clothes before a scheduled visit to her obstetrician, who had said to expect the birth around Jan. 25.

"It was rush hour and the train was crowded," Ms. Boateng said. "All of sudden my water broke as I sat in my seat."

A passenger alerted the conductor, who called for help. EMS paramedics Edward Richardson and Mike Capella met the train at the Wall St. station in lower Manhattan, where they were joined by Officers Michael Granton and Robert Ferro of Transit Emergency Rescue.

Police emptied the car of other passengers, who took it with perfect grace.

Well, almost perfect.

"People grumbled. They were in a rush to get to work," said Mr. Ferro.

Mr. Richardson, who has delivered five babies in four years with EMS, said he noted that the contractions were two minutes apart. The birth was on an express schedule.

"We got out our obstetrics kit," Mr. Richardson said. "We converted the train into a delivery room."

"We told her to relax," he said. "She was brave and quiet."

The 9:18 a.m. birth went smoothly. Then, an ambulance took mother and daughter to New York Downtown Hospital, where Ms. Boateng felt chipper enough to present the baby to the world and to her husband, George, 32, at an afternoon press conference.

"Honey, she was really born in the subway?" the computer student asked his wife incredulously, as he picked up his little girl.

The baby was not immediately named because there was another surprise about the birth: The parents were told it would be a boy.

The mother praised the paramedics: "They did a great job. I don't know what would have happened if they didn't come so quick."

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