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Mother flagged driver down after ambulance failed to arrive.
A bus driver is being hailed a hero for pulling over to help a woman going into labour on the side of the road, then rushing her to a hospital when an ambulance failed to show.
Sajjad Shariff, 41, was driving the W15 bus to Leytonstone station when he noticed a woman staggering towards Grove Green Road bus stop, frantically waving her arms.
“I knew she wasn’t going to make it to the bus stop,” said Mr. Shariff, who pulled the bus over to assist the 44-year-old expectant mother, Fatim Faye, who was in obvious distress.
He added: “She came on and said ‘baby’ and ‘hospital’ and was breathing quickly and heavily. She collapsed on the seat.”
After opening the doors to let passengers off, Mr. Shariff called a ‘code red’, quickly alerting Transport for London’s emergency control room and requesting an ambulance.
Over an hour had passed when Miss Faye’s waters broke on the bus. It was then that Mr. Shariff decided to take the expectant mother to Whipps Cross Hospital himself.
“It was panicky. We didn’t want a baby born on a bus,” joked father-of-three, Mr. Shariff.
He added: “The Depot joked that they should name the baby Enviro200, after the name of the bus.”
Ambulance controllers later claimed that they were mistakenly told that Miss Faye was nine weeks pregnant instead of nine months, so failed to register the call as urgent.
Miss Faye gave birth to a baby girl at 1.45am on December 12 in the maternity ward of Whipps Cross Hospital. Both mother and baby are said to be doing well.
Managing Director for TFL bus operator Tower Transit, Adam Leishman, said: “We’re very proud of Shariff. He’s an admirable guy, always looking to help customers.
“Being a bus driver is often thankless, but it’s a very important function in London. Hopefully this will shine some light on that.”
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