When Greg Smith saw the rising floodwaters outside his Houston apartment on Sunday, he knew that his pregnant wife Andrea Smith would go into labor that day. However, he did not know that a dump truck would be bringing them to the hospital.
Photo: Gregory Smith
The father to be called 911 as the floodwaters continued to rise. “It kept kicking us off the line,” he says.
“I couldn’t get through.”
When the line finally connected, no one answered the call. “I put it on speaker phone to wait for someone to answer,” he says. No one did.
Chor called the Coast Guard. She, too, could not get through. Chor finally reached the National Guard, only to learn that the troops would not arrive quickly enough. They realized they were
trapped. “I knew I would have to do this myself,” Greg says. He was worried; he was not trained in obstetrics.
“I had some courage, though,” he says. “Even if I had to do a home birth, I felt like it was going to be okay.” The couple began to prepare for a home birth. It would be primitive, they knew; neither
of the doctor-parents kept medical supplies in the apartment.
The apartment complex is home to many medical professionals who work at the nearby Texas Medical Center. A neighbor sent out a call for help on a community message board. In short order,
doctors, nurses and EMTs arrived at the door with sutures, scissors and other supplies. The grandmother-to-be dashed to the kitchen.
“I boiled water over the stove,” Chor says. “I put the instruments in water, and put them out on a fresh paper towel to cool.”
Meanwhile, Greg contacted an out-of-town obstetrician-friend, who volunteered to coach the family through the birth via Skype or FaceTime.
“I was sterilizing instruments and preparing the room, and they were making a plan,” Chor says. “My son was cool, calm and collected. He was ready to deliver his child.”
Concerned neighbors kept watch on the floodwaters, and soon decided to move the delivery room to higher ground. A second-floor neighbor volunteered her apartment. Chor and others raced
upstairs to prepare the newly-appointed delivery suite.
Unbeknownst to the Smiths, someone had contacted someone whose father lived across the street from a fire station. That man walked out into the deluge and told the firefighters about the
The neighbors spotted what appeared to be a large garbage truck outside. Greg ran out into the rain to flag down the truck.
“They said, ‘We’re here for you,’ ” an amazed-sounding Greg tells PEOPLE.
“The next thing I know, there’s a ride for Annie and Greg,” Chor says. “They grabbed their coats and umbrellas and the baby’s bags. Then off they went.”
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
The mom and dad to be arrived at the hospital, where they were offered dry clothes and a real delivery room.
At 1:59 a.m. on Monday, adorable baby Adrielle came into the world.