NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — The Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center said it recently provided critical care to a homeless asylum-seeking family.
On September 9, 2023 a pregnant Nigerian refugee mother who was 40 weeks along, and her family were taken in at the medical center due to being denied entry into Canada. The mother was assessed as soon as she arrived and was given an immediate cesarean section in order to safeguard her, and her baby's well-being.
Although the baby was delivered successfully this was not the end of the family's troubles.
The family did not have the resources for a place to stay following the birth, so the medical center's charge nurse, and O.B. worked together to make sure that the family's father and two-year-old could stay together in a safe place during the challenging time with the mother and her newborn.
"We understand the value of family, especially in moments like these," said Brigid Sweeney, the charge nurse on duty that night. "Our primary objective was to guarantee the well-being and comfort of not only the mother, but the entire family."
In a team effort with the Labor & Delivery unit, the hospital's social workers, P3 center and Child Protective Services, the family was able to get not only emergency housing, but also insurance.
"Memorial's importance to our community cannot be overstated," said Anna Pennesi, Women's Health Director at NFMMC. "This event accentuates our dedication, not solely as a medical institution but as a sanctuary of compassion, particularly when alternatives are nonexistent."
On September 14, the family began its journey to New Jersey where family members met them at a bus station.
NFMMC said this experience is an example of the true essence of community spirit. The family was also generously given essentials before they left such as adult and infant clothing, food supplies, baby products and more.