40 years ago, a Waterville woman gave birth during the Blizzard of 1978

40 years ago, a Waterville woman gave birth during the Blizzard of 1978

WATERVILLE, OH (WTOL) - "Plan B was I would be gone and someone would have to take care of her," said Bonnie Hanifan describing the birth of her daughter Susan during the blizzard of 1978.

Thankfully for Bonnie Hanifan, Plan A worked.

In the early morning hours of January 28, 1978, in the middle of the worst blizzard this area has ever seen, Bonnie gave birth to a healthy baby girl with little heat and barely any light.

"So I said, there were a lot of people in place that night otherwise I wouldn't have made it," Bonnie said.

Nearly 40 years later to the day, Susan Hanifan still loves hearing the story about her epic birthday, the heroism of strangers and her mother's calm strength.

"Unbelievable that my mom was able to do that and my dad was there to support her and just all of the different people in the community who came out when the weather was so bad," Susan said.

In describing the height of the snow, Bonnie and Susan point out the height of a wood pile. Explaining snow was higher than 6 feet and paramedics had to fight through it order to get to the family's home to deliver Susan.

"The paramedics had to come by snowmobile," Bonnie explained. "The one that had the medical supplies hit something and they lost all of their medical bag. So when they got to my house they had no medical supplies so that was interesting."

Susan was the first baby the three paramedics ever delivered.

"The paramedics all suggested that they call me "Snowflake" or "Susie Snowflake"," Susan said with a laugh.

But the journey wasn't over for Susan and Bonnie. Because of complications from the delivery, Bonnie needed to get to the hospital.

"Someone had orchestrated a big frontend loader to dig a path from the main road coming out of Whitehouse to St. Luke's Hospital. They also had to orchestrate how to get me to that point so I think they had some sort of tractor pulling a Bronco," Bonnie explained.

After a rough eight-hour journey, Bonnie and "Susie Snowflake" made it to St. Luke's and later transferred to Toledo Hospital.

Susan said her family have been devoted Waterville residents ever since. They all have a good sense of humor about her eventful entrance into the world.

"I came into the world in a big way. Hopefully I go out the same way," Susan said with a laugh.

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