New Jersey, NJ – A baby born outside Holland Tunnel in Manhattan is recovering well after his dramatic birth on Wednesday morning.
Little Nassim Mohammed Elkarhat’s premature arrival meant his mother had to give birth in the front seat of the black Cadillac driven by father Abdel Elkarhat.
With assistance from a pair of Port Authority workers, the relieved couple welcomed their new son at 7am on Wednesday while parked at a site just east of the Holland Tunnel’s Manhattan exit.
52-year-old PA senior tunnel and bridge officer George McCann told the New York Daily News:
“The father was really frantic. You could tell he was a new father. He was running around screaming, ‘Help me! Help me!’”
Nassim, whose name means “scent of a morning flower” in Arabic, made an appearance just minutes after his father had pulled to the roadside. McCann and his PA colleague Roy Renna said the roomy interior of the Cadillac helped the delivery. As Renna jokingly told the Daily News:
“There’s a lot of room inside a Cadillac.”
Nassim was born six weeks early, and Renna described how the infant was blue when he first hit the cold December air. However, his eyes opened once his airway was suctioned out, and he quickly found his voice. Renna added:
“The birth was a wonderful feeling. A baby crying is a healthy baby. We felt good after that. We all worked together, we were all a team. It’s relatively easy, you just have to be careful. We had to work efficiently and fast — get the baby out of there.”
The baby born outside Holland Tunnel is now doing well at New York Downtown Hospital, where he and his recovering mother Soukaina Nekhlaoui were visited by the PA workers who came to their aid.