An aptly named baby boy born during Hurricane Harvey is the center of a positive story of hope and the kindness of strangers amidst the devastation in Texas.
As reported by the Deseret News, young mother Dru Wheeler went into labor on August 29 just as the flood waters were rising in her family’s home in Beaumont, Texas. Her husband, Kallen Wheeler, a local dentist, called emergency services for an ambulance, but there were none available.
The couple, who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, realized that time was not on their side.
Dru told Deseret News, “When we saw the water coming in it was a shock, so we said a quick prayer. I knew I needed to get to the hospital.”
In lieu of an ambulance, the Wheelers were able to secure a high-clearance emergency truck to transport Dru to Baptist Hospital in Beaumont, along with an EMT to monitor the situation. However, there was no room in the truck’s cab for Kallen and the couple’s 2-year-old son, Jonas, who returned to their home to attempt to move valuables above the waterline. They were planning to meet Dru at the hospital soon after.
However, the engine of the family’s SUV was flooded during Kallen and Jonas’ drive to the hospital. Some helpful strangers assisted in moving the vehicle off the road, and Kallen then hoisted his son onto his shoulders and continued the journey on foot.
The family was again aided by the generosity of strangers when a man driving by stopped and offered the father and son a ride, and later offered shelter at his home.
“A guy pulled up, told me he wouldn’t let us keep walking, and picked us up. He was a stranger — just a Good Samaritan.” Kallen told the Deseret News.
Kallen then called a friend who owned a high-clearance vehicle to bring him and Jonas to the hospital. As the friend arrived to pick up the father and son, Kallen and Dru’s second son was already making his arrival into the world.
With the assistance of kindly delivery nurses, Kallen was able to connect with Dru via FaceTime and witness, at least electronically, the birth of Noah Harvey Wheeler.
The Wheelers had reportedly chosen the name Noah prior to the baby’s birth, and said that the connection to the Biblical character who built an ark was “purely coincidental.” The baby’s middle name, however, was chosen as a reminder of the storm which served as the backdrop of the remarkable story of his birth.
Feature Photo: Associated Press