PETALING JAYA: Going into labour in the middle of a busy highway was an experience Lidawati Zakaria will never forget.

To make it even more memorable, the kindness shown by a group of strangers will forever be remembered by Lidawati, 39, the mother of the now famous “Thaipusam baby”.

Lidawati said she is grateful to the mother and daughter (later identified as Marie Puspan and Naroshinii Annaselam) who rushed to her aid when she was in labour in her husband’s pickup truck.

“My baby is the first daughter in the family and I will forever be thankful to everyone who helped my husband and I deliver her. Alhamdulillah, she was able to come out safely.”

Lidawati said for her and her husband (who wished to be known only as Ismaidi), receiving help from random strangers in that moment of desperation felt like a breath of fresh air.

“The aunty and her daughter, who were the first to come to our aid, were very comforting. They made sure I felt calm and comfortable as I started to give birth to our daughter.”

“The aunty comforted me as much as she could to keep me calm while holding my baby and unhooking the umbilical cord, which was wrapped around my newborn’s neck,” Lidawati said.

To ease her discomfort at parts of her body being exposed, Lidawati said Marie and Naroshinii took the trouble to get some women passersby to help cover up the vehicle windows.

“They used the garments and cloth they had on them to cover me up to ensure I was comfortable while I pushed out my daughter into the world,” she said.

When asked if she and her husband had named their baby girl, Lidawati said they have yet to do so.

It was also reported by a news portal that Lidawati was still holding on to the cloth that was used to wrap her newborn that day.

“I do not know who the cloth belongs to, but I want to keep it with me so I may someday relate this story to my daughter. I want it to be a memory that we will be able to cherish for a long time,” she said.

Lidawati added that she and her husband would very much like to meet Marie and Naroshinii.

“I would really, really like to meet them again so I can properly thank them for all that they did.”

On her thoughts about the incident having a positive effect on unity, Lidawati said: “We really hope Malaysians continue to stay strong in terms of unity and togetherness as we are a family. From this event, I can safely say that we are strongly united.”