The choked road to a happy ending

November 25, 2015 12:00 am | Updated November 17, 2021 02:32 am IST - CHENNAI:

Ambulances have been struggling to reach those in need —Photo: M. Karunakaran

Ambulances have been struggling to reach those in need —Photo: M. Karunakaran

Rain, lightning and labour pains in a cab through crawling traffic – Monday evening had all the elements of a movie, as Srini N. became a father for the second time. It all started around 4.45 p.m., when the IT professional’s wife went into labour. An Uber cab was called, and she and her mother began their journey from Medavakkam to a private hospital in Vadapalani around 5.15 p.m. But as rain battered the city, traffic stretched out in serpentine queues, unmoving.

“It was fine through Velachery and Inner Ring Road. But they got stuck at GST Road. At the Kathipara junction, traffic did not move for at least an hour-and-a-half,” said Srini. Most of the city was caught in traffic chaos on Monday evening, as arterial roads were choked.

While this was going on, Srini himself was hospitalised in Chromepet with a high fever. As the contractions intensified, Srini’s mother-in-law got down from the cab to check with the traffic police about the situation, he said. “But they were helpless. They were directing traffic but could not do anything about the jam.” An ambulance was called for, but the vehicle could not make it.

“Then, the driver called Sri Balaji Hospital, asked if they could admit her and then, we called the hospital too. The staff was on the verge of leaving but stayed behind for us,” he said.

Getting to the hospital involved taking a long U-turn, and by the time this was done, Srini’s wife’s water broke.

“The cab made it to the hospital, she went in and delivered in the next two minutes,” said Srini. “Thankfully, they were ready for us.”

The latest entrant to the family is a baby girl, born at 8.25 p.m., and both mother and baby are doing well, Srini said, and are expected to be discharged on Wednesday. The baby’s name? “It’s going to be rain related,” quipped Srini.

Patients, ambulances struggle

Those in need of medical care in the city have had it hard, with rains making travel difficult. Last week, when the city was flooded, R. Jayanthi, a resident of Kamakoti Nagar, Pallikaranai had a scare when her 22-year-old son fell and hurt his head. “ We called for an ambulance, but the hospital nearby was water-logged and it couldn’t come. I finally found a call taxi outside and convinced him to take us. He brought us out, and a police jeep then took us to hospital. Thankfully, my son is fine now,” she said.

A medical technician with a 108 ambulance said. “What used to be a 20-minute trip now takes us 45 minutes to an hour,” he said. A few hearses of the State’s free hearse service too, have suffered damage, with a tree falling on one, a hospital official said.

An IT professional recalls the harrowing experience of his pregnant wife, who struggled to reach a hospital on Monday

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