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Stormy arrival for this baby

Bronx Times

Elijah Matthew Zephr had a rather stormy entrance into this world.

Not only born during one of the worst, most devastating storms to hit the tri-state area, he also arrived two months early and weighing only two pounds 11 ounces.

Elijah’s mom Audrena Zephr said the birth of her son on Monday, Oct. 29 at Montefiore Medical Center was a big surprise, since he wasn’t due until Jan. 8.

“I was at home when I just started having contractions,” Zephr said. “We decided to go to the hospital, because we didn’t want to get stuck in the house and not be able to get there. At that point it just seemed very windy, and it wasn’t too difficult to get a cab.”

“He was definitely ready to come,” she said.

As her labor continued, Zephr said the weather got worse.

“As I was laying in bed, I could just hear the wind howling,” she said. “At one point the wind blew the window open to my room, and the nurse had to call maintenance to come and fix it. I was definitely nervous, nobody knew if we were going to lose power or not and since Elijah is a premie he was definitely going to need power.”

“He wanted to make his mark when Sandy was here.”

Zephr said Elijah was born at 5:30 a.m. on Monday morning, with no complications and will be able to go home in about two months.

Although some areas of the Bronx were left devastated by Sandy, many Bronx hospitals held up well and even became sanctuaries for patients from other boroughs.

All of Montefiore’s hospitals remained with power throughout the storm.

By Friday, Montefiore had taken in 27 patients from Manhattan hospitals suffering power problems: six NICU babies from NYU Langone, one adult from Bellevue Hospital and 20 patients from the New York Downtown Hospital (five mothers and their newborns as well as 10 adults requiring medical and surgical care).

The hospital also served as dorms for as many as 150 staff members who feared they would not be able to get back and forth to work during the storm.

St. Barnabas Hospital in E. Tremont also held up well during the storm.

All senior administrators spent the night Monday, Oct. 29, preparing for the worst, said a spokesperson for the hospital, but there were no problems.

“The generator held up, and next of kin of patients were all called letting them know patients would be well cared for,” the spokesperson said. “The hospital also prepared for patients from Coney Island and later, Bellevue, but in neither case did they show up.”

Workmen’s Circle took in 99 patients from Sea Crest Nursing Home in Coney Island due to the damage of their building.

Staff stayed at the facility from Sunday night until Tuesday, as the hurricane passed.

“We all agreed to help as much as we could and we originally agreed to accept 70 of their residents,” said Larry Abrams, director of administration. “ As people started to come in, our staff began assessing them, making sure they were prepared for their stay at Workmen’s Circle. As the buses continued to unload, we realized that there were more than 70 Silver Crest patients had come in.”

Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at ksanchez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3394

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