Zaheer Ali says he and his laboring wife, Indira, were abandoned by hospital staff when another patient needed a C-section. (Image credit: Zaheer Ali)
Boynton Beach, Fla. (ABC) -- A Boynton Beach, Fla., hospital is staying mum after a maternity ward mix-up that left a dad to deliver his own daughter.
Zaheer Ali says he and his laboring wife, Indira, were abandoned by hospital staff when another patient needed an emergency C-section.
“My wife was screaming,” Zaheer Ali told the Palm Beach Post. “The nurse says, ‘You have to wait.’”
The Alis arrived to Bethesda Hospital East Saturday night and were given an induction drug to speed up the delivery, according to the Post.
Indira Ali’s labor was moving along quickly. When a patient down the hall needed the C-section, her doctor stopped the induction drip to stall the birth until she could return, the Post reported.
But baby Aaliyah couldn’t wait. She was born weighing 6 pounds, 3 ounces, with just her mom and dad in the room.
“It must have happened very rapidly, because I was only in the C-section for 30 minutes,” obstetrician Dr. Elana Deutsch told the Post, adding that a nurse should have stayed with the couple but was likely “nervous” about being there alone. “By the time she [the nurse] was back in the room, the baby was in the bed,” Deutsch said.
Deutsch returned to the room just in time to cut the umbilical cord, the Post reported.
“The patient was obviously very upset,” she said. “I was very upset.”
Hospital spokeswoman Lisa Kronhaus declined to comment on the ordeal, citing patient privacy rules, but stressed that mom and baby are “doing very well.”
She also confirmed to ABC News that the family was offered “special accommodations” at the hospital but said she couldn’t say whether they were still there.
ABC News was unable to reach the family for comment, but Zaheer Ali told the Post that their treatment was “wrong.”
“The hospital is saying, ‘Sorry,’ but I just feel it’s wrong,” he said. “It’s a hospital. There are supposed to be nurses and midwives. A nurse should be there with you.”