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Long Island University Nursing Student Helps Deliver Neighbor’s Baby in Back Seat of Car

Prompt action by Brooklyn Campus’s Aionga Pereira has joyful ending

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Alka Gupta,Assistant Director of Public Relations
Brooklyn Campus,
Long Island University
(718) 780-4137

Brooklyn, N.Y. – When Aionga Pereira saw her pregnant neighbor go into labor yesterday morning, the Long Island University Brooklyn Campus nursing student didn't just rush to provide comfort. Instead, on automatic pilot, she let her education and training take over to help deliver the baby in the back seat of a car.

"I saw that the mother, Crystal, was frantic and her family members were pacing the street," said the Brooklyn Campus senior. "I couldn't just stand by — as a nurse, it is my job to always get involved."

Grabbing a clean towel from her apartment, Pereia hurried to the pregnant woman, who by then was laying in the back seat of a car, and observed that "lightening had already occurred and that the baby had dropped."

"The first thing that came to my mind was Professor O's class," said the Prospect Heights resident, referring to Brooklyn Campus assistant professor Christine Opokpomeshine, who taught her OB-GYN last semester. "I kept hearing her voice say check first for the baby's position and for the cord."

Staying calm, Pereira followed the protocol, making sure the baby was safe and in position. After the mother's water broke, Pereira guided the baby's head and shoulders out before paramedics arrived and finished the delivery. The healthy baby girl and her mother were taken to Methodist Hospital.

A Trinidadian native, Pereira is grateful for the education she has received at LIU. "The professors are extremely helpful – I really feel that when I leave here I will know what to do. They really prepare you for real-world experiences, such as this."

Pereira's quick action earned her media attention in New York City's daily newspapers, on television and at Campus. "I was really impressed, very impressed that she remembered what she had learned in class," said Professor Opokpomeshine.

Pereira has yet to meet her neighbor and the new baby, but she did receive a big hug from the new father, who told her that mother and daughter are doing just fine. Herself a married mother, Pereira also earned high praise from her 13-year-old son. "He told me he was really proud of me," she said.

The Brooklyn Campus is distinguished by...
dynamic curricula reflecting the great urban community it serves. Distinctive programs encompass the arts and media, the natural sciences, business, social policy, urban education, the health professions and pharmacy, and include the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, the Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics, the D.P.T. in Physical Therapy and the Pharm.D. in Pharmacy. A vibrant urban oasis in downtown Brooklyn, this diverse and thriving campus offers academic excellence, personalized attention, small class size and flexible course schedules. In 2006, a $45-million Wellness, Recreation and Athletic Center was opened to serve the Campus and the surrounding community. In 2007, the Cyber Café was launched, providing a high-tech hot spot for students and faculty members to meet and eat.

Posted 09/29/2011

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