A blizzard baby delivered inside the lobby of a snowbound Crown Heights building died after an emergency call of a woman in labor brought no help for nine excruciating hours.
The baby’s mother, a 22-year-old college senior, was recovering Tuesday night at Interfaith Medical Center, where her newborn was pronounced dead at 6:34 p.m. on Monday. That was 10 hours after the first 911 call from the bloody vestibule on Brooklyn Ave. in Crown Heights.
“No one could get to her. Crown Heights was not plowed, and no medical aid came for hours,” said the student’s mother.
By the time a horde of firefighters and cops finally trooped to her aid through snow-covered blocks, the baby was unconscious and unresponsive, sources said.
Details of the tragedy emerged as the abominable snowstorm continued to wreak havoc across a city still digging out from the wintry blast. Some of the other blizzard horrors include:
– In Queens, a woman tried to reach 911 operators for 20 minutes Monday and then waited for three hours for first responders to arrive. By then, her mom had died, state Sen. Jose Peralta’s office said.
Laura Freeman, 41, said her mother, Yvonne Freeman, 75, woke her at 8 a.m. because she was having trouble breathing. When the daughter couldn’t get through to 911, she enlisted neighbors and relatives, who also began calling.
One of the callers reached an operator at 8:20 a.m., but responders stymied by snow-clogged streets didn’t reach the Corona home until 11:05 a.m., said Peralta, who wants the death investigated.
“The EMS workers walked down the block trudging through snow,” Freeman said. “They tried. I could tell by the look on their faces. I really would just like [Mayor] Bloomberg to admit that there were casualties.”
– A woman in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, was forced to spend the night with her dead father after the medical examiner’s office took more than 24 hours to claim his body. Ismael Vazquez died at 10:31 a.m. on Monday, and the 82-year-old man’s body remained in his bed until 1 p.m. yesterday. His daughter kept vigil in the living room.
“This is New York City, and I’m a New Yorker, and this is not the first storm we’ve ever had,” said Florence Simancas, 51, holding back tears. “Somebody dropped the ball … big-time.”
– A Brooklyn woman was left sobbing at a Bay Ridge bus stop yesterday when the driver said there was no way to get her to a doctor’s appointment in Bensonhurst.
“Please help. I have a doctor’s appointment that is important and I can’t get nowhere,” 64-year-old Ludmila Kowalow said. “I don’t know what to do,” she added, throwing her hands in the air.
– A 76-year-old Bay Ridge heart attack victim nearly died when an FDNY ambulance became stuck in a snowbank, but he was rescued by a gang of good Samaritans lugging him through the unplowed streets on a sled fashioned from a gurney.
“My husband could be dead right now,” said Lucy Pastore, whose husband, Salvatore, was in stable condition at Lutheran Medical Center. “The mayor acts like this is a minor inconvenience. Makes me sick.”
Still, nothing approached the tragedy of the newborn on the busiest day for 911 calls since Sept. 11, 2001.
The pregnant woman was walking from her home to the nearby hospital in the still-swirling snow when she ducked into the building lobby, unable to make it any farther.
The young woman had not told her family she was pregnant – she didn’t want to disappoint relatives – or that she and her college boyfriend had decided to put the child up for adoption.
An 8:30 a.m. 911 call was made, with the caller saying the birth wasn’t imminent, a Fire Department source told the Daily News. The call received a low priority, and the city unsuccessfully tried twice to contact the caller during the next few hours, the source said. A second, more urgent 911 call at 4:30 p.m. reported the woman was bleeding and the baby was crowning – and the call was upgraded to level two, the source said.
An hour later, the NYPD contacted the FDNY/EMS to report the baby had been delivered but was unconscious. Cops cut the umbilical cord and tried to revive the newborn, police source said.
The call was then upgraded to level one – highest priority – and an FDNY crew arrived in 12 minutes, sources said. EMTs were on the scene at 6 p.m.
“The mayor was spouting nonsense to say Crown Heights was plowed. It wasn’t,” the woman’s mother said. “No one could get to her … any other day she would have gotten to a hospital.”
The city medical examiner will do an autopsy today on the baby.