Philly 911 Operator Named Godmother By Woman She Coached To Deliver Baby Roadside
16th December 2021 by BOTWC Staff
16th December 2021 by BOTWC Staff
Now they’re connected forever!
A Philadelphia 911 operator was just named a godmother by the woman who she coached to deliver her baby on the side of the road, Today.com reports.
Elyce Rivera, a 911 operator in Philly was just 4 weeks into her new job when she got a call that would change her life. She was about to end her shift when she received one last call from a woman about to give birth while driving.
Nurse Charlotte Fatoma said she was 9 months pregnant and at work at an assisted living facility when her contractions began.
“One of my clients said, ‘Do you need me to hit my life alert?’ and I said, ‘No, you keep that, I’m gonna be ok, don’t worry about me,” Fatoma recalled.
A mother of two, Fatoma thought she had more time and began driving herself to the hospital which was about 40 minutes away. Unfortunately, she ran into traffic and just as her contractions sped up, traffic came to a standstill. When she realized there was no way she was going to make it to the hospital, Fatoma called 911. On the other end of the phone was Rivera, who Fatoma credits with helping her to stay calm.
“She’s just screaming. So what I told Charlotte was… everything that she’s feeling, her baby is feeling and I didn’t want her baby to go into distress so that’s why I kept telling her to take deep breaths,” Rivera explained.
When the contractions got to be 2 minutes apart and the ambulance still wasn’t nearby, Rivera advised Fatoma to pull over.
“I just told her, listen, you’re gonna see your baby sooner than you think,” said Rivera.
“She told me to position myself in the car, move the seat back, push yourself all the way to the edge of the chair, put your legs up, prop yourself and make a way for that baby,” Fatoma explained.
After a series of pushes and the calm coaching of Rivera, Fatoma could feel the baby’s head. After that, Rivera continued to guide her as she gave one final push. The ambulance arrived just as Charlotte gave birth to a 7lb, 1oz baby girl on the side of Montgomery County’s Interstate 476.
The two women were both emotional as they heard the baby crying, Rivera taking time to pull her mic away as she teared up. Less than one month on the job, she had done the unthinkable, aided a woman in giving birth. A month later, reporters from the Today Show brought the two women together for a heartfelt reunion.
“Elyce is an angel in disguise. She was wonderful. She treated me so kind,” said Fatoma.
Fatoma, Baby Elizabeth, and Rivera all came together on camera, strangers just 4 weeks ago and now connected for life. Elyce brought gifts for the mom and newborn while Fatoma continued to praise and thank her. Shortly after, Fatoma revealed that she had given baby Elizabeth the middle name of “Elyce,” before asking the 911 operator if she would be the newborn’s godmother. Rivera was ecstatic as the two embraced.
The Today Show then gifted $600 in products and gift cards to Fatoma from Babylist, an online registry service, and another $25,000 in gift cards to Rivera and all the Philadelphia 911 operators from Grubhub to take care of their meals for a while.
Baby Elizabeth’s birth certificate location is officially listed as Interstate 476 and she and Charlotte have gained a new family member just in time for the holidays!
Photo Courtesy of The Today Show