On Monday Polly McCourt, who is from Oxfordshire in Britain, realised she was going into labour while at the family’s apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
“I was starting to feel worse and worse, and I thought, ‘Oh, this is not good’,” Ms McCourt, 39, told the New York Daily News.
“I went downstairs to get a taxi and my water broke, right in the front foyer of the building,” she said.
Doorman Anton Rudovic realised the urgency of the situation and quickly helped her to the street corner to hail a taxi to the hospital only for another woman to pop out of nowhere and jump into the cab ahead of the expectant mother.
Experience gained from the births of her two other children, Conor and Adele, meant Ms McCourt knew she was not going to get to the hospital on time.
She realised she had no choice but to sit down in the middle of the busy Manhattan sidewalk and prepare to welcome her baby there and then. The doorman propped up her back to make her as comfortable as possible while passersby offered encouragement and even scarves to wrap up the newborn infant. One woman gave her a coat.
Her husband Cian was just arriving back from New Jersey when he saw the commotion outside the building. The Trinity College graduate, a partner in the New York office of Dublin legal firm A&L Goodbody, knew instantly that his wife was involved, but feared she had been knocked down.
Within a few minutes, the couple and their newborn daughter, Ila, were safely ensconced in hospital where they revealed they were giving their daughter the second name Isabel, after the woman who had so kindly sacrificed her coat.
They also appealed for Isabel the older to get in contact so they could thank her once more.