Imagine you are driving along a highway at midnight when you spot the thing we all dread spotting on highways -- a horrible car accident. No help has yet arrived on the scene. So it's all up to you. You pull over and rush to the scene of the accident, finding a family, including a man, woman, and a toddler, thrown from the burned, twisted metal wreck of the car that had just flipped over. Then things get even worse. You peer more closely and see that one of the occupants is a heavily pregnant woman. You ask if she and her baby are okay. And that is when you see the stuff of nightmares: The baby's head and hand are poking out from a gaping wound in the mother's stomach.
This is the horrifying and surreal situation that Iria Wolnick, a 36-year-old massage therapist from San Jose, California, found herself in when she was traveling late at night in Texas last year.
After seeing the baby's head and hand emerging from the 19-year-old mom's stomach, and hearing the baby cry, Iria knew she had to do something and quickly. With the eight-month pregnant mom repeatedly asking, "How's my baby?" Iria went to work with very little first aid experience to deliver the baby through the laceration in the mom's stomach.
Another Good Samaritan who had stopped to help tied the baby's umbilical cord with a shoe lace.
Finally help arrived, but it was too late for this new mom, who died at the hospital. She did, however, get to see her baby delivered, get to see the face of the kind woman, herself a mother of four, who helped her. She must have known her baby would be safe. Hopefully that gave her much comfort as she lay dying. But Iria says the woman, 19-year-old Niser Saldana-Quilantan, was conscious enough to tell Iria that she wanted her baby delivered, and safe, and even named her, giving her the name Emma.
Despite being given an award for her heroics, Iria doesn't see herself as a hero, just someone who was doing what a human being should do for another human being.
"She at least left knowing that her baby was safe," says Iria. Yes, at least she had that comfort, the one any mom would want if her own life was trickling out of her.
The husband and toddler survived, and Iria occasionally keeps in touch with them. At the time, Iria was on her way to her mother's funeral. After delivering Emma, she says, "It doesn't feel like I lost her because I feel like I gained something too." Incredible!
What would you have done?
Image via KGBT TV/YouTube