A firefighter from Engine 34 and two medical technicians from Twin City Ambulance delivered a baby boy Monday for a woman whose doctor had told her that she might not live through this delivery.
Delores Keener, 24, of Hertel Avenue near Main Street in North Buffalo, was not due to give birth to Kamarii Sharif for another week. In fact, she was scheduled for a medical exam that very day.
But when she woke up early that morning, the labor was beginning, so she rushed to get her three children ready for school and day care. Soon her mother and sister arrived.
Kamarii Sharif then began more persistently forcing his way into this world, and they called for help at 5:50 a.m.
Marcell Eccles, a 17-year veteran of the Buffalo Fire Department, was among those rushing to the scene from Engine 34 at Main and Mercer.
"When we got there, things were pretty chaotic," Eccles said. "She was hysterical. Her mother and sister were upset, thinking that she might not make it. Her doctor had told her that she was high-risk and there was a possibility that she might not survive the delivery."
Keener was standing in the bathroom when they arrived.
"The baby's head was already crowning," said Eccles, who worked with Paul Guagliardi and Mark Walter, emergency medical technicians from Twin City Ambulance.
The baby was delivered by Walter while Guagliardi coached the mother.
Eccles said they calmed her down and told her that there wasn't time to take her to the hospital.
"The ambulance guys laid her down in the bathroom," Eccles said. "We were afraid the baby would just come out and hit the floor. That was the last thing we needed. We had to do it right there."
The rescuers laid out their materials and went to work.
"They guided me on the floor, with my mother and sister," Keener said later from her bed at Children's Hospital. "My doctor had told me . . . I was at high risk (for this pregnancy)."
Finally, after some tense moments, the baby's shoulders emerged, and the mother realized that the birth would be all right.
"The baby was born with no complications," Eccles said. "There were some intense moments, but we had to calm her down and do our job. Everything else was in God's hands."
Mother and son then went to the hospital, with Keener's sister, Sheri Swanson, joining her in the ambulance and with their mother, Delores Reid, driving behind.
Keener, an Emerson Vocational High School graduate, has been taking classes at Erie Community College to become a paralegal.