The 23-year-old Miami woman who gave birth at home on Sunday as Hurricane Irma tore through South Florida met the 911 dispatcher who coached her through the birth.
In a press conference at Jackson Memorial Hospital on Wednesday, Tatyanna Watkins said although the experience was “traumatizing,” she knew she “had to be calm about it.”
Destiny Janine Knight was born around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday weighing 6 pounds and 11 ounces, ABC News reported.
“I’m just thankful that I’m here, she’s here, and everybody is safe,” Watkins said.
During the birth, the dispatcher taught Watkins’ boyfriend, David Knight, how to tie off the placenta with a shoelace. Knight described the birth as “extremely nerve-wracking.”
“I never thought I would be in a situation like this,” Knight said. “I just thank God everything was alright, and the birth was successful and everybody made it out safe.”
When Watkins and Knight met Desiree Farrell, the emergency dispatch supervisor who helped them become parents for the first time, they immediately greeted her with a hug.
“It was such a good relief to have someone on the phone who was trained in that field because I think without that, I don’t think I would have been able to do it,” said Knight. “I’m very grateful and still in shock, but I am happy.”
During the birth, Farrell had another operator call the hospital to get Dr. Kendra Gilliespie on the phone for assistance since she knew that Miami Fire-Rescue wouldn’t be able to reach the anxious couple.
“It was so much teamwork and so much effort and just doing what we could,” Farrell said. “I remember at one point the dad saying, ‘Can you please stay on the phone with me?’ and I said, ‘Yes, of course.’”
— Madeleine Wright (@MWrightReports) September 13, 2017
Watkins’ due date was the next day, she said. As the storm hit, the winds “sounded like a train coming,” she said.
Once the paramedics finally arrived, Destiny had already been born. The couple had to cover the newborn with towels to shield her from the pouring rain, Watkins said.
— JacksonHealthSystem (@JacksonHealth) September 13, 2017
The family was then transported to the Women’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial around 8 a.m.
“This is a good example of people who care, people who listen, people who could communicate all together for a good outcome,” said Dr. Salih Yasin, an OB-GYN with the University of Miami Health System. “It is really a good story for us to learn from and for others to copy possibly nationwide.”
Destiny is being monitored at the Hotlz Children’s Hospital Pediatric Cardiac ICU, doctors said.
(H/T: ABC News)