A California doctor’s commitment to his patients compelled him to rush to the hospital to deliver a baby even after a severe car wreck left him badly injured.
Dr. George Alkhouri - an obstetrician-gynecologist at Golden Valley Medical Centers in Merced - was home monitoring a pregnant patient in early July. He realized her umbilical cord had wrapped around the baby’s neck, and its heart rate had slowed significantly.
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“It was just a whirlwind. I was in a lot of pain,” said the new mother, Alyssa Stanghellini. “So I was just looking for relief and hoping everything would be OK.”
“I found the baby in a lot of stress and there is a need to take the baby and deliver him immediately,” Dr. Alkhouri told KCRA.
The typically 10-minute short drive to the hospital was derailed when another car crashed into the doctor’s vehicle.
“All the glass just shattered and came at my face, on my hand,” said Dr. Alkhouri, recalling the oncoming headlights of the car that swerved into his lane and side-swiped that early morning.
Able to free himself, the doctor checked on the other driver.
“I wasn’t thinking about the pain in my leg, or the blood on my face or hand,” Dr. Alkhouri remembered. “All I’m thinking [is], ‘How am I going to get there?,’ and, ‘How am I going to deliver this baby?’”
A responding police officer who let the doctor use his phone overheard him speaking with a nurse about the baby and offered to take him to the hospital, where he safely delivered baby Bradley.
“I was standing on only one leg when I was doing the surgery,” said the doctor, who remembered the pain kicking in as his adrenaline wore off.
The doctor said nurses at the hospital removed several shards of glass from his face after the delivery. Shortly after, he returned to the scene of the crash.
While he still has nightmares about the wreck, Dr. Alkhouri said his injuries are healing. And baby Bradley, the doctor said, is a reminder of why he first wanted to become a doctor.