In the past couple of days as Hurricane Harvey has dumped dozens of inches of rain in South Texas everything has basically come to screeching halt. Thousands of flights have been canceled, and some schools are closed until next month.
For anyone without a boat, travel has been stalled, but there are some things that just could not wait. Not even Hurricane Harvey could stop the arrival of the youngest and newest residents of the region from being delivered.
Greg and Andrea Smith, who are new to the Houston area never expected that they would be front and center of one of the most catastrophic hurricanes nevertheless delivering their baby in the midst of it all. The couple arrived in Houston last month for some advanced medical training in their fields of pediatric anesthesiology and geriatrics.
Last Saturday as the rain was falling in the Houston area Greg knew he needed to get his wife to the hospital before the storm escalated, and decided since there had been no accumulation in their area, they would go to the hospital the following day. However, the next day they couldn't believe what they woke up to:
“I expected there would be five or six inches that I could drive through,” Greg said. “I woke up to two or three feet.”
This is from a neighbor's social media post that day.
Stay safe!! This is from right outside my apartment complex 😩 what a week lol pic.twitter.com/Cnaa8jKt0I— Callie Hatcher (@calliecalliejo) August 27, 2017
The soon-to-be parents quickly came to the realization that they were stuck, and as the day went on Andrea’s contractions were stronger, and Sue Chor, Greg’s mother, who was in town for the baby’s birth stated, “Within a couple hours I noticed Annie having real good contractions.” That’s when they knew they needed to evacuate and get Andrea to a hospital ASAP.
Both floodwaters and their newborn were fast approaching. Unfortunately, after calling 911 and the Coast Guard, they were not able to get ahold of anyone and realized a home birth would most likely be their only option
Fortunately for the Smiths, their apartment complex housed many doctors, nurses, and EMT’s that worked at the Texas Medical Center close by and a fellow neighbor posted on a community message board so the residents were aware that the Smiths were in need of help.
Y'all. THIS JUST HAPPENED at my apartment complex in Houston. pic.twitter.com/ofHTOe7GGt— Callie Hatcher (@calliecalliejo) August 27, 2017
Neighbors quickly scrambled to help the couple and decided on moving the impromptu delivery room to an apartment on the second floor to avoid floodwaters. How amazing to see all of these people come to the aid of their new neighbors in such a time of need.
Thankfully the makeshift delivery room wasn’t needed because someone reached out to a family member that lived near a fire station, and they were able to let someone know about the emergency and rescuers picked up the trapped family in a large garbage truck.
The Smiths' neighbors then formed a human chain to help the expecting mother wade through the waist-high waters so she could get onto the truck. To see all of the support and their neighbors rallying together is just something else.
They used a human chain to get her safely to the truck!! (Video shot by my roommate) Happy thoughts & prayers to the new parents! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/nlEaa9J8E4— Callie Hatcher (@calliecalliejo) August 27, 2017
Chor told People Magazine "The next thing I know, there’s a ride for Annie and Greg. “They grabbed their coats and umbrellas and the baby’s bags. Then off they went.” Greg and his wife had to sit on top of water hoses as they were escorted to the hospital by the firefighters. They all made it safely to the hospital, and Andrea have birth to baby girl Adrielle at 1:59 am on Monday morning.
Their daughter was born healthy, but according to PEOPLE, she is currently in the intensive care unit because she had some issues. Greg said, “If she were born at home, that wouldn’t have been the best place for her. I’m so glad she is in the hospital.”
The astounding support of these neighbors proves how the power of humanity can overcome in times of distress.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters