Idukki: A woman from a tribal settlement colony in Mamalakandam on the Idukki-Ernakulam border gave birth in a private ambulance at Irumbupalam en route to a hospital in Adimaly on Sunday.
Maallu (23), wife of Lalu, from Ilamblassery tribal settlement in Kuttampuzha panchayat, began experiencing labour pangs by 12 pm. She was rushed to the Adimaly taluk hospital in a jeep as no ambulances were available on call.
Meantime, upon request, a private ambulance from Adimaly agreed to ferry the couple to the hospital. Maallu who was experiencing severe labour pain was shifted to the ambulance at Irumbupalam 10 km away from Adimaly. However, she gave birth to a baby boy in the ambulance near Eastern Company 3 km away from the hospital with no one other than her husband by her side to care for her.
“I stopped the ambulance as the woman gave birth. The newborn was in a pool of blood on the stretcher on which the mother was lying too. The father made sure that the infant did not fall from the stretcher; Maallu held the baby tight on the stretcher with her legs,” ambulance driver Sadham P A said.
Sadham had alerted his colleagues, who park their ambulances outside the Adimaly taluk hospital, about the delivery; the hospital staff and doctors had made all the arrangements for providing emergency care for the mother and baby as the ambulance reached the hospital soon after.
“After the delivery, the ambulance reached the hospital in about three minutes; hospital staffers were ready to receive the newborn,” Sadham said.
The infant and his mother are out of danger and both are presently under observation, the hospital authorities said.
The source at the hospital said the hospital administration already knew about the issue of transportation of the woman from the tribal settlement to Adimaly in case of an emergency, and had asked the couple to get admitted at the hospital on Saturday for delivery. But, the couple stayed back in the tribal settlement till the labour pain started.
The newborn is the fourth child of the couple; they have a six year-old boy and two-and-a-half-year-old twin sisters. Ilamblassery tribal settlement is 30 km away from Adimaly and can be reached after a long journey through the forest roads in Mamalakandam; only jeep-like SUVs could ply through the stretch.