Johannesburg - A traffic officer became a heaven sent angel for a 28-year-old woman, who saw her water break in the middle of Johannesburg central.
JMPD’s Lebogang Mngomezulu, 37, helped the young woman give birth on an Eloff Street pavement, with members of the public watching.
The woman had been distressed and lying on her back when Mngomezulu came calling, quickly realising the woman was about to give birth.
She reacted fast, took off her traffic police jacket and laid it on the ground, as she became a midwife for the distressed young woman.
“She was screaming, surrounded by other members of the public and that time they were still waiting for the ambulance to come. I could see that the membrane had raptured, and I was like guys ‘we don’t have any other moment, the time is now’,” said Mngomezulu, relaying the events to Radio 702’s Joanne Joseph.
As Mngomezulu, who works in the JMPD’s accident investigation unit, got down on her knees to assist the woman, she said a silent prayer to herself as she tried to deliver the baby.
“I was like ‘God, kindly be with us, I don’t have a choice, I have to do this’. I was literally shaking, I then requested the young lady to push because the child is here,” she said.
Using her own past experience of giving birth, she told the woman to push as hard as she could when she requested her to do so.
“I kept telling her you are doing a great job, ‘push again, push again’, and then the shoulders came and I told her we are (nearly) done, just push one last time, and I will hold the baby. The baby just fell on my hands and I had to wipe the baby,” she recalled.
She wrapped the baby with a jacket and because she had no experience of cutting the umbilical cord, she sought help.
She found an off duty paramedic, who obliged to help cutting the umbilical cord.
They later spotted an ambulance, whom she raced to and ordered that they assist the young mother and her baby.
“They didn’t hesitate, they came and I handed over the baby to the paramedic. The minute when the baby’s mother was being loaded onto the ambulance it kicked in, that ‘wow, you did it’,” she said.
As the doors of the ambulance closed, Mngomezulu said she shed tears.
“I shed the tears not knowing if they are tears of joy because what was going through my mind was that something could have gone wrong, what was the department going to say about what I did,” she said.
JMPD spokesperson, Superintendent Wayne Minaar, said the officer was brave and had saved two lives.
“She did a very brave deed indeed. This officer is attached to the accident investigation unit, this unit goes to accident scenes where there are serious accidents and where people have died., that is her function, to help the court charge people for culpable homicide or murder.
“In this case, she did something that she never expected to do, which was beyond the call of duty. We really want to commend her for that effort, for having done so well to help the woman whose life was at stake, and the baby,” he said.
The Sunday Independent