Mom, Good Samaritan are reunited
Published: February 8, 2006 | 3469th good news item since 2003
Sun Hee Paik awoke Monday after dreaming about three goldfish swimming in a bowl — a sign, she says, her baby would be coming soon.
She and her husband, Hui Cheon Kim, bundled up their three children, aged two to 11, and went to Victoria Park subway station, headed for St. Michael’s Hospital. Surely, they thought, they’d make it in time — after all, the baby was due the following day and their other children were born a few days late.
But shortly after boarding the subway, labour pains started. When they reached Yonge and got on the southbound train, the contractions were unbearable. By the time the train eased into Wellesley station, around 9:20 a.m., the baby was on its way.
“It’s a miracle,” said Paik yesterday at her modest one-bedroom home, caressing her day-old daughter, Mary Kim.
“Thank you,” she said in hushed tones, gently placing the swaddled baby in the arms of Ana Giczey, the woman who delivered Mary after Paik collapsed on the subway platform.
“Today is a celebration,” said Giczey, a 41-year-old seamstress who sprang into action to help the screaming woman as other TTC passengers milled about — oblivious. “But there were moments when I wondered if the baby would live or die.”
Giczey knew she had to do something, particularly after spotting the woman’s panic-stricken husband and trembling children. So she pushed the children back from the edge, yanked down Paik’s pants and gently pulled out the infant and placed her on her mother’s stomach.
Giczey then called 911, where an operator instructed her to check the baby’s breathing, wrap her in something warm and find a shoelace to tie around the umbilical cord.
When paramedics arrived about 20 minutes later, Giczey quietly slipped away but spent the rest of the day worrying. It wasn’t until yesterday, when she was reunited with the family, her concerns were put to rest.
“She’s so beautiful, I can’t believe it’s her,” Giczey told Paik as she held Mary. “I feel so happy that I was able to help you and be there for you.”
Said Paik, speaking with an interpreter’s help: “I can’t even imagine what would have happened if Ana wasn’t there. What she did was amazing.”