Photograph: Rebecca Lupton for the Guardian
OK, its not really a service that Uber offers, but it's the nice side of the news that we want to cover and not all the sexual harassment and robbery articles. This one is unique, and we thank the driver for not charging the passenger for the mess she left behind!
This happened in the UK, but heck, it most probably happened in the US a few times but never reached the news. It's the story of Rebecca and Richard, a married couple that requested an Uber to take them to the hospital and here is how it unfolds.
Rebecca, a computer scientist unfolds her story. It was her last day at work, and she was due to take some maternity leave to give birth. Rebecca felt a bit unwell on the day before she leave, and after preparing some presentations, she decided to go back home early and left the office after lunch. When she got home, she felt her first contractions, and Rebecca and her husband Richard waited at home until she was contracting every five minutes.
This was their first mistake, although it was their second birth, they didn't realize that they should have gone to the hospital with the first contraction. Since they didn't own a car, they called an Uber to take them to the maternity ward. However, they had to wait 20 minutes for the car to come which didn't help them.
When the Uber arrived, Rebecca was contracting faster and faster. (Editors note, in the UK they call an Uber a taxi!). Rebecca, Richard and their two-year-old son Sebastian entered the car. Rebecca said that 'The Uber driver was amazingly calm and advised me on how I should breathe.' Priesh was amazingly calm even though his passenger had gone into labor.
Their Uber driver was not only was he calm, but he also soothed Rebecca and explained to her that he was in all of his wife's births and explained to her how to breathe during labor. Due to the heavy traffic, Priesh realized that they would not make the hospital on time and suggested that they park on the side to deliver the baby. They did manage to pull up outside a clinic that was on the way.
Rebecca said "As soon as the taxi stopped, my husband ran to get help. Sebastian began to cry: he could see I was in pain. Richard returned seconds later with three doctors and a wheelchair, but by the time they arrived the baby was already crowning, and I couldn't be moved."
A doctor from the clinic helped Rebecca take off her pants, and a second later their son came out. Michael was born in the front seat of an Uber car, Toyota Prius. After which Rebecca was whisked into the clinic leaving Priesh alone with his messy Prius.
Rebecca continues that "About 10 minutes after the birth, while I was still in the clinic, we were waiting for the ambulance to come to take me to the hospital. My husband helped scrubb down the taxi. Luckily, Priesh had wipe-clean leather seats; he even managed to pick up other customers later that day."
The whole birthing experience took under twenty minutes for Priesh, and Rebecca had left some clothes in the car. The next day he went to the hospital to give Rebecca back her clothes, which he had washed over night. Rebecca gave Priesh a 5-star rating, which was an understatement of her gratitude. She said "When I compare this birth to my first one, I actually think it was more bearable. The labor in the Uber was honestly more pleasant, and easier. My first birth took two and a half days, while this one was over and done with in two and a half hours."
Uber reimbursed Priesh the standard car-wash fee and also reimbursed the couple for their ride and sent them a present for their baby.
My take: It would be nice if we would read up more stories of this nature, for some reason the press and media prefer to slap us with stories of gore and horror rather than of good deeds and kindness.