When a Houston woman went into labor Sunday, she and her husband discovered they were trapped in their apartment as floodwaters rose outside — so their neighbors stepped up to help.
According to People, Greg and Andrea Smith were anticipating the birth of their first child as Hurricane Harvey hit their city.
Houston neighbors form human chain to help pregnant woman in labor wade through floodwaters https://t.co/uWa2VF5OgMpic.twitter.com/9fXmRI9cUh
— People (@people) August 29, 2017
“We had two miscarriages before this,” Greg told People. “We’ve always wanted a little baby.”
Greg said that following their miscarriages, “We felt like we had to surrender this to God.”
“Everything about this pregnancy is God’s will,” he said.
The couple, both doctors, moved to Houston in July to pursue advanced training in their fields of pediatric anesthesiology and geriatrics.
“We’re very new to Houston — and new to hurricanes,” Greg said, adding that he and Andrea had “a backup plan” to go early to the hospital early in case Andrea went into labor during the storm.
On Saturday evening, the couple decided they would drive to the hospital on Sunday morning in anticipation of the birth.
“I expected there would be five or six inches that I could drive through. I woke up to two or three feet,” Greg said, adding, “We soon realized, we were kind of stuck.”
On Sunday, the couple, along with Greg’s mother, Sue Chor, found Andrea was in labor.
“Within a couple hours I noticed Annie having real good contractions,” Chor told People.
Greg and Chor began calling 911 but couldn’t get through. They couldn’t get through to the Coast Guard either. They finally reached the National Guard, but were told that help would not arrive soon enough. They realized they were going to have to deliver the baby at home.
“I knew I would have to do this myself,” Greg said, adding that although he is a doctor, he is not trained in obstetrics.
“I had some courage, though,” he said. “Even if I had to do a home birth, I felt like it was going to be OK.”
While the couple prepared for the birth, one of their neighbors sent out a plea for help on a community message board. The apartment complex is located near the Texas Medical Center, so doctors, nurses and EMTs soon arrived at their apartment. They also used Skype to consult a friend who works as an obstetrician.
But floodwaters continued to rise, so another neighbor offered the couple use of a second-floor apartment. While the couple prepared to move upstairs, another neighbor told called their father, who lives across the street from a fire station. He waded through floodwaters to tell the firefighters about Andrea’s situation.
Soon, a dump truck arrived outside the building. Greg ran outside to flag down the truck. The firefighters inside replied, “We’re here for you.”
Neighbors then formed a human chain to help Andrea through the waist-high water and into the truck.
Their neighbor Callie Hatcher tweeted a video of the moment:
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
“We were soaked,” Greg said. “We sat on top of all these fire hoses, while firemen drove us to the hospital. They were careful to go slow and keep us safe.”
Their baby, Adrielle, was born shortly after they arrived at the hospital. She was healthy but needed to be treated in the intensive care unit.
“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,” Greg said.
“That’s why her name is Adrielle,” he said. “It means she belongs to God.”