Sunday 25 February 2018

Baby on board: garda helps birth at traffic lights

Emma Miskell, Lavally, Co Galway, with her baby Darcy May, and Garda Claire Grenham, who helped deliver the baby on the side of the road near Galway city. Also pictured is Darcy May’s father, Sean Flynn, who was behind the wheel of the car at the time. Photo: Ray Ryan
Emma Miskell, Lavally, Co Galway, with her baby Darcy May, and Garda Claire Grenham, who helped deliver the baby on the side of the road near Galway city. Also pictured is Darcy May’s father, Sean Flynn, who was behind the wheel of the car at the time. Photo: Ray Ryan

Tom Gilmore

A garda has been hailed a hero for using a shoelace to tie the umbilical cord of a baby born during morning rush-hour traffic.

It happened at traffic lights near Galway city as parents Emma Miskell and Sean Flynn, rushing to reach University Hospital, had to settle for a car seat birth instead.

The couple, from Cloondahamper, Lavally, Tuam, Co Galway, realised that rushing to hospital was in vain, even with a Garda escort, when baby Darcy May arrived in the front seat of their car 4km away.

Garda Claire Grenham, who was in the squad car driven by colleague Garda Brendan Owens, jumped out and used her shoelace to tie the baby girl's umbilical cord while waiting for the arrival of an ambulance.

Garda Grenham, herself the mother of an 18-month-old baby, said this emergency roadside midwife task was something she never thought she would have to do as a garda.

"Once we saw the baby's tiny hands move and she let out a little cry, we were happy that she and her mum were ok," she added.

The unassuming garda said "it was easy" and Ms Miskell had done the hard work herself.

Brilliant

But she had a little help and encouragement from her partner who was driving, and teenage daughter Megan who, according to her mother, was "timing the contractions" from the back seat. "We had the baby at the traffic lights just as we were pulling in and while Sean was still driving. He was brilliant in the situation," she said.

"We knew when we reached Claregalway village that we were not going to make it without a bit of help," added Mr Flynn.

Irish Independent

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