Hero bus driver rushes pregnant woman to hospital after she waited over an hour for an ambulance which failed to arrive
A bus driver rushed a woman in labour to hospital late at night after she waited for an ambulance for an hour and 15 minutes.
Sajjad Shariff, 41, was driving along a road in Leytonstone when desperate Fatim Faye waved him down at about 11pm.
She was forced to make her own way to hospital after ambulance controllers say they were mistakenly told she was nine weeks’ pregnant – instead of nine months.
The 44-year-old left her home and was staggering towards the stop when Mr Shariff spotted her and stopped early.
He said: “She came on and said ‘baby’ and ‘hospital’ and was breathing quickly and heavily.”
He quickly called “code red” which alerts Transport for London’s emergency control room of an urgent incident and requested an ambulance.
Mother Fatim Faye, 44 and her new babyAs startled passengers got off the W15 bus, one woman, Bee Cole, 27, stayed on to help.
Miss Cole, from Leytonstone, said: “It felt wrong to leave her, it was cold and it was not a very nice place to be about to have a baby.”
After 30 minutes there was no sign of the ambulance so Mr Shariff called code red again. He also called Miss Faye’s partner.
Deme Ndiogou, 51, who lives with Miss Faye, was working but arrived at her side 40 minutes later.
At 12.13am, Mr Shariff decided they could wait no longer and drove them in the bus to the A&E at Whipps Cross Hospital, which was six bus stops away.
But once there, they were told by a doctor they had to go to the maternity unit, so Mr Shariff quickly backed out of the ambulance bay and drove Ms Faye round to the maternity department where she was quickly attended to.
Miss Faye gave birth to a baby girl at 1.45am on December 12 and mother and baby are both said to be doing well.
A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “The information initially given to our control room was that the patient was nine weeks pregnant.
“This was corrected during a second call at 11.20pm, when it was explained she was nine months pregnant.
“The patient’s condition had not changed at this stage and she was fully conscious and breathing normally and was not categorised as being in a life-threatening condition.
“Unfortunately we did not have an ambulance available to send and were cancelled at 12.18am.
“We would like to apologise for any upset this may have been caused.”
The LAS added its control room were also told Ms Faye was “feeling sick” rather than having labour pains.