After a routine visit to the obstetrician one week before her baby was due, a woman of Chinese descent and her husband stopped at an Asian grocery store before heading home. The young mother had been hesitant to go out into the snowstorm but wanted to keep her scheduled appointment. The couple also has a five-year old who was not with them at the time of the accident. Then, in the blink of an eye, a catastrophic accident claimed the pregnant woman’s life and changed this family forever.
After placing their groceries into the trunk of their car, the woman stepped backward and was struck by a bobcat being used as a snow plow. The owner of the New York grocery store had been trying to keep the parking area free from snow when he struck the young woman. After being transported to the Maimonides Medical Center, she was pronounced dead just before noon.
Doctors were able to deliver the baby by Caesarian section after the mom died. The baby boy weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces and was placed in the neonatal intensive care unit, where he was listed in critical condition. The main concern was that the baby was deprived of oxygen for 17 minutes before the doctors were able to deliver him. This may have caused serious harm to the baby, including brain damage.
The family, especially the husband, are completely distraught. What was supposed to be a very happy time for the family has turned to sorrow due to the catastrophic accident. The five-year-old boy was sent to stay with his aunt while the father watched over the newborn in the hospital and has not been told that his mother is dead. The mother had also been calling her family in China every day to report about the new baby and impending birth.
The family’s level of grief for the New York mother and worry for the newborn baby boy is unfathomable. Nothing can restore this family or make up for their loss. An investigation into the grocery store owner’s actions in still pending and no charges have been filed. The family could decide to seek legal counsel to learn of their options for compensation. This will not make up for their suffering but could help defray the costs of medical care for the distressed newborn and the end-of-life expenses for the mother.
Source: New York Daily News, Pregnant woman killed by snowplow in Brooklyn but baby survives after Caesarean, Caitlin Nolan and Thomas Tracy, Feb. 13, 2014