A Uniondale mother was reunited Tuesday with the police medic who delivered her baby in a speeding ambulance — saving the newborn’s life, hospital officials said, by removing the umbilical cord around her neck.
Two other responding Nassau officers played a role: one driving the ambulance; the other providing an escort.
“They’re my heroes,” said Kenia Borjas Arias, 33, as she held her healthy daughter Ailish at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow.
Borjas Arias was home Monday when she went into labor at about 1:30 p.m., officials said. Her due date was about nine days away, but when her water broke she called 911.
Police Medic Brian Matthews and First Precinct Officers Darnell White and Nicholas Dux responded to the call, which was initially described as a woman with back pain.
“When we showed up, the woman was in a lot of pain,” said Dux, who’s been on the job for 2 1/2 years.
White, an 18-month veteran with two children of his own, drove the police ambulance, while Matthews delivered the baby. Dux accompanied the ambulance in his police car.
“It went fast,” Matthews said.
The baby was crowning and when Matthews, who’s delivered six babies during his 20-year career, spotted the cord on her neck, he knew it could be dangerous.
“It was blue when it came out,” Matthews said. “We had to help it with the breathing and stuff like that, and suctioned it and stimulated it, but everything came out good.”
Ailish was born somewhere between Uniondale and East Meadow, hospital officials said.
Dr. Victor Politi, NUMC’s chief executive, said the lack of oxygen going to the baby because of the cord around her neck could have been deadly if not for the quick work of the medic.
“The medic did a really good job removing the cord,” said Dr. Angelica Sze, a chief resident at NUMC. “The medics reacted very rapidly. They did everything well. The baby was crying when we got to the scene.”
At the hospital Tuesday, Borjas Arias held Ailish tightly as her older daughter, Jairy Jael, 6, and her husband, Ronnie Padilla, 34, stood by her side.
Speaking through a translator, Borjas Arias said it was “excellent” to see the officers and medic that had saved her baby.
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, who called the medic and officers “heroes,” presented the family with a large gray teddy bear festooned with a pink bow. The $29.99 bear was purchased from Costco and paid for by Mangano’s campaign, according to he and his spokesman.
“That’s her first teddy bear,” Mangano said. “We’re proud to do it.”