Hero mum delivers her best friend's baby
'Emergency midwife' saves little Dylan's life
Published 30/08/2011 | 05:00
SHE'S the squeamish type who normally runs a mile at the first sight of blood.
But Joanne O'Neill overcame her worst fears to become a real hero after she delivered and revived her best friend's baby.
The mother of one (33), from Wicklow town, who has no medical training, turned emergency midwife when Tracey Murphy (26) went into labour at home.
Ms O'Neill told yesterday of the dramatic delivery and how she saved baby Dylan's life by freeing his airways from the umbilical cord wrapped dangerously around his neck.
The dramatic home birth took place in the early hours of Wednesday, August 17, when a desperate Ms Murphy, already a mum to April (9), began to get painful cramps entering her fourth day overdue.
"I got a call from Tracey in distress at around 12.30am and just got into my car and rushed in to help her prepare to go to the hospital," said Ms O'Neill.
She immediately called father-to-be Quintin Doyle to arrange transport to the National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street in Dublin.
But just minutes later, as Ms Murphy was being helped into the waiting car, her waters broke.
Ms O'Neill said: "We realised at that stage there was to be no driving anywhere and that this baby was coming whether we liked it or not.
"Straight away something kicked in and I just went to my knees to help. I just kept telling Tracey to push and in minutes I had the baby's head in my hands."
However, the newborn was not breathing and was not making any movements.
"Tracey pushed some more and I could see that the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby's neck twice.
"I really started to panic, I didn't know what to do," she said.
"I just grabbed it and relieved the baby's neck and as soon as I did a little breath came from his little lungs."
Ms O'Neill said hearing the baby breathe was "the best sound I've ever heard".
Ms Murphy had a healthy 7lb 3oz boy named Dylan, but says she can remember little of the sudden and dramatic birth.
"Dylan would probably have died if Joanne hadn't taken control of the situation in the way she did, and something could have happened to me, too, so I can never repay her."
Ms O'Neill will be Dylan's godmother when he is christened in the coming months.