While superheroes from comic books and movies don’t exist in real life, we do have doctors who more than deserve the title.
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Everything was going smoothly when Alyssa Stanghellini first went into labor on July 2, but things quickly took a scary turn. Her baby’s heartbeat was alarmingly low, and the umbilical cord became wrapped around his neck.
“It was just a whirlwind,” Alyssa said. “I was in a lot of pain, so I was just looking for relief and hoping everything would be OK.”
At that point, Dr. George Alkhouri of Golden Valley Medical Centers was at home helping monitor baby Bradley, but it didn’t take long for him to realize that Alyssa was in an urgent situation. She needed to have a cesarean section as soon as possible.
“I found the baby in a lot of stress and there is a need to take the baby and deliver him immediately,” George said.
The commute from his home in Merced, California, to the hospital is only 10 minutes, but what should have been a quick drive turned into a potentially life-threatening scene. George said he remembers seeing headlights coming toward him on the road. He tried his best to get out of the way, but the approaching vehicle still managed to sideswipe him.
“And all the glass just shattered and came at my face, on my hand,” George said.
The compassionate doctor immediately got out of his car to check on the other driver. Once he confirmed that they were OK, he went to call for help. Although his phone was almost entirely broken, he was still able to call 911. Once the police arrived, he borrowed a working phone to update the charge nurse.
“I told her I’m going to do my best to be there,” George said. “When the police officer heard us talking, he offered to lead me and let me go.”
George was able to make it to the operating room just in time – injuries and all – to perform Alyssa’s emergency procedure.
“I wasn’t thinking about the pain in my leg, or the blood on my face, or my hand,” he said later. “Just, all I’m thinking, how am I going to get there and how I’m going to deliver this baby?”
The adrenaline from the hectic night helped, but once it began to wear off, his team of nurses stepped up with any additional support they could provide.
“I was standing on only one leg when I was doing the surgery,” George said. “The nurses helped me out, take some pieces of glass from my face, and I went back to the accident scene.”
Alyssa wouldn’t find out about his wreck until days after giving birth, but once she did, she was speechless.
“Just gratitude, oh my gosh, I gave him a huge hug,” Alyssa said. “Just, I can’t even express.”
Since the wreck, George has been steadily making a recovery. Although the ordeal left him a bit shaken, it has only confirmed that he’s in the right profession.
“I’m so happy to see Alyssa and her baby, healthy and together,” he said. “This gives me more push to do it again, honestly.”
Alyssa and baby Bradley will continue to see George for checkups, and it’s safe to say they’re in good hands.
“I feel like God had his hand over the situation, so I’m just very grateful that Dr. Alkhouri was able to make it even though he was injured,” Alyssa said. “I don’t know if we would have Bradley here if he wasn’t able to make it.”
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