Giving the Shirt Off Your Back to a Woman Giving Birth

The big feel-good story making the rounds here in New York City this week is that of Polly McCourt, who went into labor on the corner of a busy Manhattan street right outside her 68th Street and 3rd Avenue apartment building. Her doorman Anton and other strangers rushed to help her as she gave birth to a baby girl right there in the middle of the city.

Twenty-year-old Isabel Williams saw the commotion on her way to work and initially thought someone had gotten hit by a car. Instead, she found the joyous-but-unusual scene with Polly surrounded by good Samaritans.

While New Yorkers had covered Polly with their own scarves and sweaters to keep her warm, the newborn baby was still exposed to the elements when Isabel arrived. The young woman therefore removed her coat, sweater and flannel shirt so the baby could be wrapped up in them. Isabel, meanwhile, endured the freezing cold in a t-shirt.

Polly and her husband Cian, who had since arrived, were grateful to Isabel – so grateful, in fact, that they named their daughter Ila Isabelle.

Though the McCourts haven’t yet had the chance to meet Isabel to thank her again in person, all parties involved are looking forward to their happy reunion.


(Photos via NY Daily News)

About Tony Rossi

After graduating from St. John's University in New York with degrees in Communications and English, Tony Rossi found a job at the Catholic media organization, The Christophers, that allowed him to indulge his interest in religion, media, and pop culture. He served as The Christophers' TV producer for 11 years, and is currently the host and producer of the organization's radio show/podcast Christopher Closeup, writer and editor of their syndicated Light One Candle column, and producer/scriptwriter of the annual Christopher Awards ceremony.