[size=7]Woman Gives Birth While Fleeing Katrina[/size]
By Associated Press
Wed Aug 31, 7:46 AM
CULLMAN, Ala. - A New Orleans woman has given birth while fleeing Hurricane Katrina. Donyelle Jean Jacques left New Orleans Saturday morning, one of 49 members of her family trying to flee. When the family is finally able to return, there will be 50.
As the family drove north in an eight-car caravan in Alabama on Interstate 65, Jacques, who was pregnant and past her due date, started having labor pains. Her boyfriend, Wilbert Joseph, said he was scared as he drove the car that Jacques was in.
He said he kept turning on the car’s caution lights to try to let other family members know what was going on.
“I didn’t know what to do,” Joseph told The Cullman Times.
Jacques’ mother, Michelle Jean Jacques, said by the time the line of cars pulled off at a motel in Cullman in north Alabama, they had called ahead for an ambulance that arrived shortly after they did and took her daughter to the hospital.
At 4:07 p.m. Monday, Jacques gave birth to an 8 pound, 10 ounce girl, Jade Leshelle Joseph, at Cullman Regional Medical Center. While excited about Jade’s birth, the family is dealing with the despair of knowing their homes in the eastern section of New Orleans are mostly likely flooded and that all of their belongings possibly destroyed.
Joseph said they left home with only a few changes of clothing, hygiene products and a few pictures.
Watching television coverage of the destruction caused Tuesday when two levees surrounding the city broke flooding an estimated 80 percent of New Orleans, Jacques said she recognized a neighborhood near hers.
“All you could see were street signs and the tops of houses,” she said. “My grandpa owns his own house and he’s worried.”
Belongings likely destroyed by the flood waters include a new set of baby furniture covered with Looney Tunes characters, bought in anticipation of Jade’s birth.
Family members don’t expect to see their neighborhood any time soon.
For now, the rest of the family and dozens of others are being sheltered at the Cullman Civic Center by the American Red Cross.
Beverly Denson, director Cullman County Chapter of the American Red Cross, said Wal-Mart is donating clothes for the baby. When Jacques and Jade are able to travel, the family plans to head to Orlando, Fla., where they have relatives.
Information from: The Cullman Times
Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
That’s cool that Wal-Mart is donating clothes for the baby. Lol.