Thursday 13 December 2018

Baby born on side of road after ambulance carrying expectant mother gets stuck in snow

“It’s all in a days work and we are not heroes at all but knowing that we managed to bring another little life into the world safely makes all our work worthwhile.”

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Sarah Slater

TWO paramedics delivered a healthy baby girl on the side of a Kilkenny road after the ambulance her mother was travelling in got stuck in snow.

The drama unfolded at 6am on Wednesday when an ambulance crew based, in Carlow town, received an emergency call to bring a woman who had gone into labour to St Luke’s General Hospital in Kilkenny city 38km away.

The ambulance crew, of advanced paramedic Martin Gorry and paramedic colleague Derry O’Toole, attempted to reach the woman’s apartment, situated on a hill in the Weir’s apartment complex in Graiguecullen on the Carlow/Laois border.

However, despite several attempts to reach the woman safely, the ambulance became “bogged down” in the snow and ice. The paramedics, were eventually, forced to call fire services in Carlow to help to get the ambulance out of the snow.

Fire services raced to the scene and it took up to 12 fire officers, around an hour, to release the ambulance from the snow.

The paramedics continued to comfort and help the Nigerian woman, now a mother of three and who has been living in Ireland for ten years, as her contractions continued.

Once the ambulance was eventually freed from the snow, the paramedics did their best, in difficult driving conditions due to falling snow and ice filled roads to get the woman to St Luke’s General Hospital in time.

However, the paramedics was forced to pull over on the ambulance he was driving, about five kilometres from Kilkenny city, close to the five star Lyrath Hotel, as the paramedics knew that the ambulance, would not make it to the hospital for the baby to be delivered, due the hazardous driving conditions.

Mr Gorry explained: “We did our best to get the lady to the hospital in time but driving conditions were so bad for my colleague Derry after we eventually left Carlow.

“No matter how hard we tried to get the ambulance up the hill in Graiguecullen the vehicle became more and more bogged in the snow and ice.

“We were left with no other alternative but to firstly call National Ambulance Services headquarters to tell them about what was happening so they could dispatch another ambulance immediately which was on its way back from Dublin to Kilkenny following another emergency.

“We called the fire services in Carlow to help us as we knew this was an emergency obviously and time was ticking. The fire officers did their utmost to ensure we made it to Kilkenny in time and they were just fantastic.

But weather conditions were just so bad that everything we were trying to do to speed up the situation we just ended up being hampered.

“We knew that time was of the essence because her contractions were quite close together. We were working with the lady to keep her calm and controlled.

“The fire officers eventually got the ambulance freed just as the second ambulance was arriving. The second ambulance followed us to Kilkenny and Derry drove as safely and quickly as he could as I was in the back of vehicle trying to keep the young mother calm.

“But the closer we edged our way to Kilkenny it was obvious the lady’s baby was arriving faster than we could make it to St Luke’s.

“Derry and I made the decision to pull over the ambulance as our priority was for the lady and the safe delivery of the baby. We had to focus on the task at hand as we had a very important job to do. We didn’t panic as we are well trained but at the same time we had two lives to look after.

“Thankfully Mum did all the hard work and an absolutely beautiful baby girl was born safely at around 8am. We then took Mum and baby to St Luke’s hospital where medical staff took over.

“Mum and baby are doing well in hospital and we’ve been told that the little girl has been called Caoimhe. We are absolutely delighted and thrilled that all worked out in the end and that both are healthy and happy.

“It’s all in a days work and we are not heroes at all but knowing that we managed to bring another little life into the world safely makes all our work worthwhile.”

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