Garda 'rolls up sleeves' and saves day as baby arrives early
WHEN her patrol car was flagged down in the early hours in a small rural village, Garda Nicola Gleeson thought she would be escorting a woman in labour to hospital.
But just 15 minutes later she was helping Niamh Longworth (28) deliver little Mia on the floor in the hall of the family home in Daingean, Co Offaly.
Gda Gleeson's only medical experience was a First Aid course, but she "rolled up her sleeves" and followed the telephone instructions from the ambulance crew, who were rushing to the family home.
Baby Mia arrived five minutes before the ambulance did -- with her cord wrapped around her neck.
Gda Gleeson said: "My initial reaction was panic. But when she cried, we knew everything was ok.
"Once she cried, I was happy -- and I cried too."
Yesterday, dad Damien (31) and mum Niamh thanked Gda Gleeson as they snuggled their 7lb 9oz bundle of joy.
Damien hadn't expected events to move so quickly after Niamh felt her first pains at 10.30pm on Monday. After all, their sons, Aaron (6) and Finn (14 months), had been two-day labours.
But then his mother-in-law Kathleen Coughlan rang at 1.15am on Tuesday to say Niamh wouldn't make it to the hospital and an ambulance had been called.
"I thought, what do you mean, she's not going to make it? But when I arrived and saw her on the hall floor, I knew things were serious," he said.
Niamh's brother flagged down the garda car -- but Niamh couldn't be moved and the ambulance hadn't arrived.
"Nicola just rolled up her sleeves and did whatever she had to do," says Damien.
She massaged Niamh's legs, smoothed her hair -- and only 15 minutes later, baby Mia arrived.