Doctor Braves Waist-Deep Texas Floodwaters to Deliver Babies

This obstetrician walked nearly two miles.

May 15, 2015, 12:09 PM

— -- It normally took a Texas obstetrician about 10 minutes to get to the hospital, but as he rounded a corner in the pouring rain this week in the hopes that his car could handle the deep floodwaters ahead, it stalled.

Dr. Bassem Maximos had two patients in labor, one of whom would need a Cesarean section. He could see the hospital, but it was half a mile away.

"When I opened the door, the water just came into the car," Maximos told ABC News. "I was waist deep in water. I got out and saw the hospital in the distance. I thought, 'OK,' and I started walking."

As he waded through the water, someone in another stalled car shouted at him to ask if he was a physician. A passenger was having chest pains. So he stopped and examined the man and helped get him into a passing truck to go to the hospital.

Maximos kept walking, determined to meet his patients like he'd promised. For one, it was her first baby, and she was nervous, he recalled. For the other, he felt it was his duty to perform the c-section himself rather than hand it off to another doctor.

At around midnight, about an hour and a half after he left his house, he walked through the hospital's doors soaking wet and shivering from the blast of frigid, air-conditioned air.

Maximos changed into scrubs, slipped in a puddle and landed on his back, waved off people who said he needed an x-ray, changed into dry scrubs again and delivered the babies just in time, he said.

One of the patients, Melissa Vasquez, told a local station she was glad he was there to help deliver her third baby.

"She's here. She's healthy and it's all thanks to him," Vasquez told the station.

"It's my duty. In a way, it’s a calling," Maximos told ABC News, adding that he doesn't think he did anything special. "I love what I do... I think I was just doing my job."

Both mothers and babies are doing well, he said. And the patient with chest pains was fine and didn't have a heart attack.

"It was a crazy night," he said.

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