A Pennsylvania mom and 911 operator are now forever linked together.
“We started up as strangers and now we’re forever connected,” Charlotte Fatoma said according to Today. The assisted living facility nurse didn’t know a routine workday last month would be changed by going into labor. Fatoma thought she would have time to drive herself to the hospital, but was met with traffic. “I’m like, ‘Oh my god, I’m never going to make it there,’ ” Fatoma said. With traffic at a standstill her only other move was to call 911.
Elyce Rivera answered the 911 call. The 911 operator said she had no idea the woman on the other end was in labor. “I thought she was in a car accident because she was panicking,” she said on the TODAY Show interview. “And then she said, ‘I feel like I’m dying, I feel like I’m dying!’ ”
At the time Rivera was only been working as a 911 operator for four weeks. Fatoma’s call just so happened to be the last one of her shift that day. Once she figured out she was talking to a woman close to giving birth to her baby, Rivera did her best to calm Fatoma and guide her safely from traffic. “What I told Charlotte was that 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, ‘Just take deep breaths.’ ”
Once on the side of the road, Fatoma was coached through the process of safely bringing her daughter into the world. “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,” said the mother of two. Just as her daughter was delivered, an EMS crew showed up on the side of Interstate 476. But without the help of Rivera, Fatoma has no idea how she would have managed the birth of her child on her own.
“She is an angel in disguise,” she said. “She was wonderful. She treated me so kind.” Rivera, still blown away by the ordeal said, “I’ve never helped with a baby delivery over 911, that was my first one. That’s like an early Christmas gift to experience something like that.”
Rivera, Fatoma and her daughter named Elizabeth Elyce in honor of Rivera were reunited — this time in person — while sharing their story on the Today Show.
Link to original The Black Detour