Unexpected arrival on board Rome-Turin train.
A high-speed train travelling between Rome and Turin was forced to make an emergency stop on Monday as staff and passengers helped a woman on board to give birth.
Soon after the Frecciabianca passed through Genoa, train staff were notified that a heavily pregnant passenger had gone into labour, reports FSNews.it.
The decision was taken to make an unscheduled stop at the Arquata Scrivia station, in the northern Alessandria province, and the search began for a doctor or nurse on board.
Isabella Carnero, a health worker at Pisa hospital who was on her way to visit her mother in Turin, presented herself.
It was decided that she would call her colleague Daniela Sanfilippo, a midwife, for advice.
"Hi Daniela, I'm on a train and there's a woman in labour, can you help me deliver her baby?", began the telephone conversation with the midwife who by chance was at home on her day off.
"At first, when I answered the call, I thought it was a joke" – Sanfilippo later told FSNews.it – "then when I registered that it was all true, I realised that the video call solution, suggested by Trenitalia employees, was the best."
And so an impromptu team set about trying to manage the extraordinary situation: train service manager Andrea Luschi was tasked with handling the video call, train conductor Loredana Ferrari was on hand to give the woman emotional and practical support, and health worker Isabella was on delivery duties, all co-ordinated remotely by Daniela the midwife.
At midday, after around 40 minutes in labour, the woman gave birth to a baby girl, to the applause of passengers on the train.
The woman (whose identity was not revealed) and her newborn baby were transported to a nearby hospital by paramedics who boarded the train just after the birth.
"The Trenitalia staff were perfect, they collaborated in every manoeuvre, as did the other travellers" - Isabella told FSNews - "the mother felt protected while she was giving birth to her second baby. I also realised that all the stars had aligned when, asking for towels, an 86-year-old woman on board opened her suitcase and gave them to me. They were perfumed, clean and even ironed. Something from another era."
"I'm happy to have contributed to this beautiful moment" - said train conductor Loredana - "I've been working for Trenitalia since 1995, and I think this will remain the most adrenaline-pumping and beautiful day of my professional career."
The train arrived at its destination in Turin half an hour late but, given the extraordinary reason for the delay, nobody complained. Mother and baby are both doing well.
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