Edwive Seme/Staff Writer
It’s 10:18 PM on Tuesday, January 7, and Lensley St Felix, a Pre-Med student studying Biology at FIU, is impatiently staring at a TV screen as well as his dorm mates. Lensley doesn’t always watch the news, but tonight is special; tonight he’ll be featured on the Channel 7 News. And it all started the day after Christmas.
“It was around 6 AM and my mom woke up in pain,” says Lensley, “she knew it was time for her to have the baby.”
Upon hearing his mother in pain, Lensley whom was home for the holidays, and his father knew what to do; they grabbed what they could and headed to the nearest hospital, Broward General. His father grabbed the keys while Lensley quickly walked his mom to the backseat of his car.
“Throughout the car ride my mom was in pain; she kept scratching and biting my arm,” recalls Lensley, “as her son, I wanted to help her cope with the pain so I would try to sing with her and tell her everything’s going to be ok, we’re going to make it.”
Lensley kept his mom company, attempting to calm her down as his father honked through traffic filled streets, sped through orange lights, and turned on every possible shortcut to try to get the hospital on time.
However, all these attempts wouldn’t get them there on time, as Lensley noticed the baby was coming sooner than they would want. “I was sitting quite close to her, and I just felt some warm liquid on my jeans.” Says Lensley. Her water was broken, and they still weren’t at the hospital; although his father only instructed him to call 911, Lensley knew he would have to do more.
He quickly dialed 911, put his phone on speaker, and grabbed a towel ready to receive the baby once it comes out. Lensley could see the baby’s head coming out, and his mom was in pain. “I think it was an instinct,” reflects Lensley, “I knew if the baby was to be delivered in the car then some precautions were to be taken; I knew I had to reassure my mother everything was fine, stay calm, and make sure my brother gets delivered safely.”
With Lensley’s help, his mom kept pushing until Lensley could see the shoulders. It didn’t take long after for him to have the baby in his arms. “I had him on the towel and the first thing I noticed was that he was breathing,” Says Lensley, “I saw him take his first breath and his heart was beating.”
The baby might have been out, but his job wasn’t done. “There was still amniotic fluid on him and some red blood like material that was covering his nostrils and mouth,” continues Lensley, “I knew that in order for him to keep breathing, I had to clean him up.”
Lensley cautiously cleaned up his baby brother (whom was still attached to his mother with the umbilical cord), and brought his attention back to the phone to speak to the operator. By then they could already see the hospital so they drove to it. From there, the nurses took over and cut the umbilical cord, as Lensley stepped back, overfilled with joy and simultaneously humble that he got through this successfully. Lensley was stunned that this has just actually happened, and he feels like he’s never been faced with such level of pressure. Although he wasn’t expecting this at all, Lensley believes the primary reason why the delivery went smooth was because he remained calm throughout the situation and applied what he’s learned so far as Pre-Med student. “I put everything else aside, focused on my little brother,” says Lensley, “I think having prior knowledge on childbirth from my studies in Biology and shadowing doctors helped me stay calm during the process.”
Lensley’s baby brother was born a healthy baby at 7:23 AM, and weighed 6 lbs and 11 oz.
Everyone, including the nurses and doctor, congratulated Lensley for making his brother safe; his parents were really grateful that Lensley was there to take action.
As President of FIU MAPS (Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students), Lensley’s currently looking into bringing in a Pediatrician to talk about this topic during one of their meetings in case anyone was to face such a situation, they would be prepared.
But his story doesn’t stop there. After hearing the highlight of Lensley’s Holiday’s break, John Zapatta, a friend and FIU alumnus, contacted Channel 7 the next day to see if they would be interested in sharing Lensley’s story. They later called Lensley to confirm the story and offered him an interview.
“They came to the house and shot the interview at around 4:30 PM, and that’s how I ended up on the media” explains Lensley, “I was really surprised on how quickly everything happened; I was also happy that they were able to keep the essence of the story and keep the focus on my little brother.”
It is now 10:21 PM, and Lensley’s watching himself on Channel 7 sitting next to his mother, holding his little brother. He can barely contain his excitement. His story is told by Alex Diprato, News reporter, who calls Lensley’s story heartwarming. Tomorrow, Lensley will see things with a new perspective as he enjoys his temporary fame and finds that his story has spread to more than one news channel. He feels ready to take on the semester and anything life throws at him. He’s even considering learning more about pediatric work now, and he might look into shadowing a pediatrician.
“This truly reminds me why I want to go into medicine, I love that aspect of medicine;” says Lensley, “You get to put your knowledge into use to make a difference in someone’s life, and also the thrill of knowing that someday you’re going to be called into stressful situations.”