Tuesday 14 August 2018

'The snow was up to my hips... we're absolutely blessed that people helped us' - couple celebrate birth of healthy boy in blizzard

Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

A mum who gave birth to a healthy baby boy this morning after the army was deployed to bring her to hospital, was herself born in Ireland’s last snow blizzard in 1982.

Deborah Roche (36), from Kildare, went into labour early this morning around 4am. Though she was little more than a kilometre from Naas General Hospital, the roads were impassable, and she and her husband Jason had to call emergency services for help.

Their beautiful baby boy, as yet unnamed, was born this morning at 10.50am in the Coombe Hospital, weighing six pounds, 14 ounces.

A tractor, a fire engine, and an army truck were needed to help Deborah on her odyssey through the snow from Kildare to Dublin.

“It was 4am last night when Deborah started going into labour; we knew at around 12am /1am that she had started feeling something.”

“We attempted the car initially but there was no hope, the car was going nowhere.”

“But the guards couldn't get out, the ambulance couldn't get out.”

“The guy on the fire engine said that he was stuck in the centre of Naas, but that there was a lad with a tractor who would help pull them out to the house. Before I knew it they were up at the house, they had towed the fire engine.”

“We had to get Deborah out of the house, up through the snow, onto the fire engine, and then that had to be towed up to Naas General Hospital.”

“The snow was up to my hips, and I’m over six foot tall. But we eventually tracked through it.”

Read More: Storm babies: Dozens delivered in Dublin's main maternity hospitals - including one Emma 

The tractor towed the couple in the fire engine into Naas General Hospital, where staff then worked to find a way to get the couple to a maternity hospital.

“We tried to ring a helicopter to come out from Athlone but that couldn't get out either.”

“It ended up that two army lads who had driven from Galway to Temple Street, and were due to finish, came out in a big massive army truck.”

“They came down on their own back, straight in from Temple Street to Naas, after doing 48 hours straight, and they still took us on, and then into the Coombe.”

A nurse who accompanied the couple to the Coombe hospital is now stranded in Dublin, Jason said.

“If noone had helped us, we would have been totally stranded. We’re absolutely blessed that we had the people to help us.”

"We want to thank everyone involved, the Naas fire service, Naas General Hospital, Claire McManus, one of the nurses, she's stranded up here now tonight because she came up in the army vehicle with us. They're telling her in the Coombe now that they want to keep her,” Jason joked.

“The two lads in the army vehicle, one of their name’s is Adam Boland, they went completely out of their way to help us."

"It’s just amazing the good that comes out in people, how people go out of their way to help you.”

The couple arrived at the Coombe hospital at 10am, and they’re new arrival was born 50 minutes later.

“Deborah herself was a snow baby in 1982, her parents had to come up through the snow, to battle through it, so this is kinda’ pay back,” Jason joked.

As for a name for their little bundle of joy, Deborah and Jason have yet to decide.

“It won’t be a storm related name,” laughed Jason. “But we have it narrowed down, we just haven’t decided yet. He’s baby boy Roche at the moment.”

"He's healthy so it's all good. He has ten fingers and ten toes, and there's not a bother on him."

Meanwhile, in the Rotunda hospital, Denise Colton gave birth to her beautiful baby boy Aaron shortly after the ambulance arrived at the hospital.