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This UAG Alumni OBGYN helped deliver a baby as Hurricane Fiona made landfall in Puerto Rico!
'We, as women, take care of basically everything and everybody.'
By: UAG School of Medicine
29/Sep/2022
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Dr. Zaskia Rodriguez, here with one of her little patients born before the storm, made a perilous journey during Hurricane Fiona to deliver a baby.
 
As Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico on Sept. 18, Dr. Zaskia Rodriguez received a desperate plea from a patient: She was in labor.

"She said she was in pain since 7 a.m., and was having bleeding and spotting," Dr. Rodriguez, an OBGYN practicing in Ponce, Puerto Rico, told TODAY Parents. "I told her she needed to go to the hospital." With winds gusting up to 85 mph, torrential rain falling and debris flying, Rodriquez drove to meet her patient at the hospital.

“I had to be there for her,” she said. The drive, normally five minutes, took much longer and was terrifying.

“Everything was dark — there were no lights; no electricity,” she explained. “It was raining and windy — I was scared.”
By the time her patient made it to the hospital she was 4 centimeters dilated and in active labor.

Rodriguez was relieved to see that the hospital still had power, fueled by a generator. After five hours of labor, Rodriguez’s patient welcomed a healthy baby girl.

“It was a beautiful delivery,” Rodriguez added.

By the time her patient made it to the hospital she was 4 centimeters dilated and in active labor.


Rodriguez was relieved to see that the hospital still had power, fueled by a generator. After five hours of labor, Rodriguez’s patient welcomed a healthy baby girl.

“It was a beautiful delivery,” Rodriguez added.
UAG
UAG
By the time her patient made it to the hospital she was 4 centimeters dilated and in active labor.

Rodriguez was relieved to see that the hospital still had power, fueled by a generator. After five hours of labor, Rodriguez’s patient welcomed a healthy baby girl.

“It was a beautiful delivery,” Rodriguez added.

By the time her patient made it to the hospital she was 4 centimeters dilated and in active labor.


Rodriguez was relieved to see that the hospital still had power, fueled by a generator. After five hours of labor, Rodriguez’s patient welcomed a healthy baby girl. “It was a beautiful delivery,” Rodriguez added.
'How I am going to take care of my baby with no electricity and running water?'

Rodriguez says her patient had only one thing on her mind after giving birth.

"She asked, 'How can I take care of my baby with no electricity or running water?'" Rodriguez explained. "I think that's the worst part — when they go home and they face all the limitations."

While her clinic was not damaged by the storm, it was without power or running water, like many remote parts of the island. A diesel shortage threatens to disrupt power to the hospitals.

"The hospitals are the thing we need the most," Rodriguez explained. "The ventilators; the air conditioners; everything the hospitals need to run is in danger now."

Five days after Hurricane Fiona hit, Rodriguez was taking care of a patient when her generator ran out of gas.

"The lights just went off when I was attending a patient. For the first time, I was frustrated," she added, beginning to cry. "It's very hard, because I try my best but the government doesn't help us. I feel like we're alone in this. I feel like we're not being heard or helped by the government. I don't see any troops. I don't see anyone here. The electricity lines are on the ground. No one comes to help us. I feel very alone."
 
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Puerto Rico is part of the United States, as a territory of the U.S. More than 480,000 Puerto Ricans remain without power, according to PowerOutage.us, an organization that estimates outages based on utility data. More than one week since Hurricane Fiona hit, 13% of the island does not have access to running water.

"How are we going to care for our patients?" Rodriguez asked. "I have a generator, and we're so blessed to have that. But next week, we'll have to limit the number of days we open because of the shortage of fuel ... We have patients to care for. I want to be there for them, but if we have no electricity or power it's not possible."

Rodriguez adds that she knows some doctors have closed their clinics entirely, leaving pregnant patients scrambling.


"I've had people call my office asking, 'Can I go there? I don't know where my doctor is. I want to know how my baby is.' That is the worst part," she added. "We don't know how all our patients are and we can't give them adequate care."

'My babies understand what mommy does'
Rodriguez has two children, ages 4 and 2.
 

"My babies understand what mommy does. They understand that mommy has to take care of other babies," she said. "But it's very challenging — as a mother, as a wife and as a doctor — to try to do everything and to be there for everybody."

Source:
https://www.today.com/parents/moms/hurricane-fiona-baby-born-hurricane-hit-puerto-rico-rcna49582
 
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