Driver frees umbilical cord from baby girl’s neck as she was being born in King’s Mill Hospital car park


A pair of quick-thinking patient transport drivers helped a mother deliver her baby girl in a hospital car park.

Helena Exton and Gary Martin who work for Arriva Patient Transport Solutions, driving patients to appointments, were in the reception of Kings’ Mill Hospital when they were approached by a panicking father-to-be, who needed help as his wife was in labour.

Helena and Gary have received basic first-aid training as part of their role, but they are not trained to deliver babies.

However they had to adapt quickly to the unfolding drama.

When they went out to the car to see what was happening, they found the mum-to-be kneeling in the front passenger seat holding on to the headrest.

Helena said: “I asked her if she could get out of the car and she said she couldn’t but she added she could feel something between her legs, so I had a look and I could see the baby’s head.”

Helena cannot remember what she said exactly, but heard the woman say she said she needed to push.

“On her second push the baby’s head came out,” Helena said, “and on the third push I was thinking, ‘Oh, my god’.”

On the third pushed, the baby came out, but dramatically it became clear the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck.

Quick-thinking Helena took action to allow the newborn to breathe but there was a heartstopping few moments when the baby made no sound.

Helena said: “It seemed a lifetime but was probably only 30 seconds or so, then she did her first cry. Then the emotion started.

“The mum was absolutely marvellous to do it without drugs and it was just extremely emotional to be there. You just have to be calm and professional in a situation like that.”

Three midwives came running out to assist the mum, at which point Helena and Gary left them to assist the new family.

But the pair visited the family the next day to check on their new arrival.

Helena said: “The mum said thank you and the little girl was smiling, We just spoke about how beautiful she was and we had a good chat.”

She added: “It has been the talk of the station and everyone seems really pleased and has been congratulating us, it has been a really nice thing to have happened.”

Liam Taylor of Arriva Transport Solutions, added he was ‘incredibly proud’ of both Helena and Gary.

“What Helena and Gary did showcases the professionalism that our ambulance care assistants possess at all times,” he said.

“It was an incredibly high-pressured situation, and for both of them to remain so calm, and deliver the baby safely, is testament to their character and ability.”

He added: “Everyone at ATSL is incredibly proud of Gary and Helena and we would like to wish the family all the best in the future.”