Good News

Mom Gives Birth In Makeshift Parking Lot Hospital After Hurricane Florence

What an incredible birth story!

Every birth story is special, but little Avah McIntyre’s parents have quite the tale to tell when she gets older. You see, Avah was born in an unusual location: a Family Dollar store parking lot in North Carolina!

Avah’s mom, Kenyana McIntyre was 41 weeks pregnant when her little bundle of joy was ready to make her entrance into the world. However, Mother Nature had other plans.

On Sept. 21, McIntyre went into labor and headed to the nearest hospital. But when she arrived, she got some unexpected news.

“I went to the hospital near our house in Pender County and it was closed [on account of Hurricane Florence],” McIntyre told People magazine. “They told me to go to the Family Dollar parking lot.”

That probably wasn’t what a mom in labor wants to hear, but McIntyre knew there was little choice. She quickly made her way to the Family Dollar store parking lot, where a regional hospital opened a mobile unit to help patients affected by the hurricane.

Known as the Carolinas MED-1, this facility owned by Atrium Health is “a mobile hospital designed to provide comprehensive patient care at the site of a disaster or other mass casualty incident,” according to Atrium. The mobile unit is fully equipped with six critical care beds, including two beds where surgery can be performed. The unit can be assembled 30 minutes after arriving on the scene and can rely on generator power for 72 hours.

Although the staff at Carolinas MED-1 initially considered transporting her via airlift to a formal hospital, baby Avah couldn’t wait.

“I could feel the baby’s head — Keyana was completely dilated,” said Dr. Andrew Godfrey, attending ER physician at the Carolinas MED-1 unit, told People. “I knew there was no way we could safely transport her. At that point, we said, ’Okay, we’re gonna deliver her here.'”

Before a backup helicopter carrying an OB-GYN could arrive to assist, McIntyre delivered a healthy 6-pound, 9-ounce girl. Shortly after the birth, mom and baby were airlifted to a hospital that was not affected by Florence and monitored for two days. Fortunately, everyone is now doing fine.

According to People, little Ayah’s middle name was supposed to be Jade. However, the events surrounding her exciting birth changed her parents’ mind. Instead, mom and dad named their little girl Avah Storm.

“When she’s older, I’ll tell her the whole story,” McIntyre told People magazine. “Since she came during the storm, there’s a lot more meaning, there’s a pretty good story behind her name.”