A quick-thinking Police officer has helped a couple get to hospital for the arrival of their first child, despite gridlock traffic nearly forcing a motorway birth.
Constable Shaw was returning to Orewa Station via the Northern Motorway yesterday afternoon when he saw a car pulled over in the emergency stopping lane.
Constable Shaw says he had just finished his shift when he noticed the car with its hazards on.
“I went and spoke to the driver to make sure everything was ok,” he says.
“There was a woman in the backseat, clearly in labour.”
Traffic was extremely heavy and Gaurav Patil and his wife Shraddha had missed the turn off to the North Shore Birthing Unit; both were understandably distressed.
Constable Shaw offered to escort them to the hospital but after a couple of kilometres he pulled over and told them to hop in his patrol car, transporting them to the birthing unit under lights and siren.
“Traffic was ridiculous,” Constable Shaw says.
“I walked them up to the suite and left. It was quite cool – a once-in-a-career opportunity.
“Hopefully it made a difference to them and meant she could deliver safely – not on the side of the motorway.”
Gaurav says his wife had gone into labour at 4am on Thursday and by the time they decided to drive to the hospital, around 2pm, she was in a lot of pain.
“It was very tense moment,” he says.
“I missed the exit for some reason and unfortunately the motorway was just jam-packed. I started sweating and I called 111. The next minute Constable Shaw stopped for us.”
Gaurav and Shraddha welcomed their beautiful baby boy, Aarav, at 7.30am on Friday 26 May, weighing a healthy 3.38kgs.
“I didn’t get much time to thank him. I cannot express how relieved we were to see him.
“The way Constable Shaw helped us, it was just amazing.”
Holly McKay/NZ Police