It’s no secret that trying to hail a cab during rush hour in New York City is a thankless task, but one would think that a woman in labor trying to get to the hospital would be an exception.
Not so for New Yorker Polly McCourt, who delivered her daughter on a city sidewalk Monday after another woman stole her cab.
“He was trying desperately to hail a cab,” McCourt, 39, said of the doorman of her Manhattan building who came to her aid after she went into labor around 4 p.m. while inside her family’s apartment.
“A lady walked out five minutes in front and hailed the cab and got into it,” McCourt told local reporters from her hospital bed. “I went, ‘No, that’s my cab.’”
With the baby well on its way, McCourt told the doorman, identified by the New York Daily News as Anton Rudovic, that she was not going to make it to the hospital. “I turned around and said, ‘I need to actually sit down,’” she recalled.
With McCourt in labor on the sidewalk, propped up by Rudovic, strangers came to her aid.
In video captured by nearby cameras, a crowd can be seen gathering around McCourt, with some strangers giving her their scarves to help her stay warm in the chilly weather.
Paramedics arrived just in time to pull the baby out and take McCourt to a nearby hospital, where both mom and baby are doing fine.
“She’s a real New Yorker,” McCourt said of her daughter, whom she named Ila Isabelle. “She’s born on the streets of New York.”
McCourt’s daughter will always know too of the generosity that brought her into the world, thanks to her middle name.
McCourt says she had planned to give her daughter the middle name of Polly, but instead changed it to Isabelle after a woman who gave McCourt the coat off her back to stay warm.
“I’m getting emotional just thinking about it,” McCourt said.
Ila Isabelle is the third child for McCourt and her husband, Cian McCourt, who was stuck in the Lincoln Tunnel during his wife’s surprise delivery and arrived at their home minutes after his daughter’s birth, according to the Daily News.