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Woman gives birth at gas station on Route 9

Posted by Ralph Ranalli March 7, 2007 11:52 AM


Elananzeh back at work
(Photo by Erik Jacobs for the Globe)


A gas station employee on Route 9 in Newton gave new meaning to the slogan "full service" this morning when he helped deliver a customer's baby in a minivan.

Rafet Elananzeh, 42, was sitting in the office of the Getty gas station at about 6:25 when a nervous man burst through the door and yelled that his wife was giving birth. Elananzeh, who recognized the man as a regular at the station, called 911.

The emergency operator told Elananzeh to check on the mother, and he ran out into the bitter cold. Elananzeh said he noticed that the woman had begun giving birth underneath a coat.

When the newborn emerged, Elananzeh followed the emergency operator's instructions and wiped the child’s face, mouth, and nose.

"Then the baby started crying," said Elananzeh who lives in Lexington. "From that point, I knew this was serious business."

Elananzeh got blankets to help keep the baby warm, and an ambulance roared into the station. Mother and child were rushed to a local hospital. Elananzeh had been in the delivery room for the births of his 5-year-old son, Amir, and his 2-year-old daughter, Lilah. Those experiences, he said, helped prepare him for what happened this morning.

"It's amazing," he said. "There is nothing like seeing a new life."

-- Andrew Ryan

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