It was a rainy Saturday morning five years ago today when Kimberly Young, desperate to find a place to have her baby, pulled-up in front of Houston’s VA Medical Center and pleaded for help. As Houston Public Radio’s Jack Williams reports, Asia VA Young is celebrating her birthday today and doesn’t remember anything about the tropical storm that helped make her birth a unique one.
At the place where she was born in 2001, Asia is a typical 5-year-old, enjoying her friends, lots of cake and presents. Her mom remembers making the frantic drive from home, dodging flooded streets before ending up at the VA Medical Center, where the last baby had been delivered 12 years before.
“Really, I had stopped at the gas station on Holcombe and Yellowstone and we walked around the gas station and asked people could they deliver a baby, but no one could deliver a baby, so I told my father-in-law, let’s jump back in the truck and drive as far as we could, and this is the farthest we made it.”
Nurse Gwendolyn Lampkins was on duty when Young arrived.
“I went upstairs and kind of made some stuff because we don’t deliver babies here. I made some things, got some things together. Took a basket that we carry supplies in and made a bassinet and we proceeded.”
Asia was delivered without a hitch and even has VA as a middle name to help her remember that day. This is hospital director Ed Tucker.
“Allison didn’t give us a choice that day. The water was too high for the family to reach the Texas Medical Center hospitals that are experts at delivering babies. We were delighted to be able to help and are delighted to see Asia VA growing up and being strong and healthy.”
There have only been three births at the Houston VA hospital, the first during an ice storm in 1961.