Philadelphia Mom Unites With 911 Dispatcher Who Helped Deliver Her Baby While In The Car
Charlotte Fatoma named her newborn daughter after the dispatcher who helped her deliver her child.
December 14, 2021 at 8:53 pm
A Philadelphia mother was united with the 911 dispatcher who helped coach her during childbirth, Today reports. In November, Charlotte Fatoma went into labor en route to the hospital and eventually called 911, where dispatcher Elyce Rivera took her call.
Rivera, who started her new position four weeks prior, guided Fatoma through her delivery after the new mother pulled over while on the highway.
Fatoma decided to name her newborn daughter Elizabeth Elyce to honor Rivera’s service. The gratitude didn't stop there, as Rivera was asked to be the baby’s godmother, People reports. The dispatcher happily accepted the proposition.
“When that call came in, I thought she was in a car accident because she was panicking and she was scared,” Rivera said.
Fatoma, already a mother of two, was at her job as a nurse at an assisted living community. Once her contractions started, she thought she'd make the 40-minute drive to the hospital successfully.
“Once I hit the exit, traffic was so long,” she said. “I’m like, 'Oh my god, I’m never going to make it there.'”
As her contractions continued, Fatoma decided to call 911.
Once Rivera received the call, she could tell that Fatoma was in a panic and feeling pain. She advised the mother to inhale and exhale at a slow pace.
“What I told Charlotte was that everything that she’s feeling, her baby is feeling,” she said. “And I didn’t want her baby to go into distress, so that’s why I kept telling her, ‘Just take deep breaths.’”
Fatoma reflected on the moment, saying, “Contractions were coming now two minutes apart, and it was to a point that I couldn’t bear it anymore.”
“And she was very calm. So that kept me calm,” Fatoma continued.
While in the car, Rivera told Fatoma to position herself in the vehicle where she could push the seat back, align herself on the edge of the seat, prop herself and place her legs up to give room for the baby’s arrival.
Once the ambulance arrived, Fatoma had already given birth to a healthy baby.
She expressed her sincerest gratitude for Rivera’s help in saving her life and her child.
“Elyce, the 911 operator, she is an angel in disguise. She was wonderful. She treated me so kind,” she said. “We started up as strangers and now we’re connected forever.”
Rivera said she was overcome with emotions during the phone call as she helped the mom.
“I felt very happy. I felt very emotional. So I had to lift my mic up. My eyes got watery,” Rivera said about the experience.