CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Friday is a very special 5th birthday for Kataleya Rose Garza and her parents. She was born in the middle of Hurricane Harvey. Thanks to KRIS 6 News, we were able to reunite the parents and paramedics that helped deliver Kataleya.
“It’s nice to meet you. You’ve grown up, so big since the last time we’ve seen you,” Capt. Eric Sawyer said greeting Kataleya for the first time.
It was 3 a.m. Aug. 26, 2017 when Isabel Pena went into labor at her home. It was her sister-in-law Jennifer Pena who delivered Kataleya, but she wasn’t breathing at first. That’s when paramedics arrived, making it through the storm, to take mother and daughter to the hospital.
On Friday, they met again for the first time since that night.
“It means everything to get to know who they were because we never got to say thank you properly,” Isabel said.
“Yeah, it was too fast and I hardly did see any faces. I was just all about her (Kataleya),” said Jennifer.
“Oh, it means a ton. It means a ton,” said Sawyer of Corpus Christi Fire Department. “Our job puts us through a lot of stuff and to be able to see a good outcome like this, it’s all worth it with this.”
Sawyer recalls driving through Hurricane Harvey with fellow first responders Mike Alexander and Brandon Lott. He said it was terrible.
“I think at the time they were only letting us go out to certain calls just because the wind speeds, so it was pretty rough getting there,” he said.
Due to the hurricane, the Pena home was without electricity. They used cell phone lights to help deliver Kataleya.
“When I tell people that I delivered a baby on Hurricane Harvey, they look at me like you’re lying, like (no). And, I’m like no (I’m not) lying. I delivered my niece,” Jennifer said.
Now, Kataleya and her aunt share a special bond. Jennifer said she is even listed on the official record as the one who delivered Kataleya.
“The older she gets I’m going to explain it to her,” Isabel said. “I have the paper clippings from that day.”
Now that the paramedics and Pena’s are acquainted, they hope to stay in touch, especially around Kataleya’s birthday.