With teddy bears and cupcakes, NYU Langone Medical Center held a special birthday celebration Tuesday for dozens of 1-year-olds who were among the patients when the hospital evacuated during the height of Hurricane Sandy.
The Manhattan hospital removed 322 patients after its backup power generator failed in the midst of an outage caused by the storm. Without power, the hospital had no elevator service, meaning patients had to be carefully carried down staircases and outside into the weather before being transported to other hospitals.
Daria Sherba had just given birth to her daughter Maria when the lights went out.
"It was terrifying really, being on the 13th floor right on the East River, hearing the windows shaking, it felt like the the window was about to explode," Sherba said Wednesday. "Then when we went downstairs, 13 flights down with flashlights."
Tamara Weinstock said she remembered going through labor with only flashlights and glow sticks lighting her hospital room.
"We were in the dark probably for four hours and then this guy came out and lit up the room," Weinstock said, looking at her son Stone.
In total, the hospital had 39 babies to deal with that night, some of whom still had to be born after the power went out.
"There were three babies that were immediately delivering in the next two hours when the lights went out and we gave others epidurals so they could safely deliver at other hospitals," said Dr. William Schweizer, co-director of hospital's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Not surprisingly, among all the babies celebrating their birthdays at the hospital Tuesday, not one was named Sandy.