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June 29, 2011

Family thanks UK medic for a speedy delivery

By Vicki Mathias
Bristol Evening Post

ENGLAND — A family was reunited with the paramedic who helped deliver their son during a difficult labour in the living room of their Yate home.

Ellis Hares was in breech position when mum Dawn's waters broke. She knew from her previous six births that his arrival would be imminent.

When Mrs Hares, who gave birth to another of her children at home, knew she needed help to deliver her son.

The ambulance was called and paramedic Jodana Pickersgill and emergency care assistant Charles Nicholls turned up to help with the labour.

The ambulance team received a commendation for their part in the delivery of Ellis and the youngster, now one, visited the paramedic to meet her for the first time since his birth.

Ellis was two weeks overdue and Mrs Hares had been due to go into hospital that morning, but by the time labour started there was no time to get there.

Mrs Hares, 40, said: "As soon as my waters go I give birth.

"I was just putting my shoes on to go to Southmead Hospital when my waters broke."

After Ellis' lower body was delivered Mrs Hares' contractions stopped and Ms Pickersgill needed to help make room for his shoulders to deliver.

Mrs Hares, who is also mother to James, 20, Sian, 18, Jack, 16, Harry, 14, Carrie, seven and Mollie-Mae, two, said: "It was quite frightening when the contractions stopped.

"He went into distress and at that point there were only two legs outside.

"When he came out he was quite blue - almost grey - and we could tell there was something not right so luckily we had the ambulance service there. There was panic because he wasn't breathing and there was no heartbeat."

The first Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS) team was joined by another paramedic, Alison Sparke and emergency care assistant Neil Davies, along with operational support manager Dave Manners.

When Ellis was delivered, weighing 9lb 5oz, he needed to be resuscitated using specialist neonatal equipment.

The team had been in contact with Southmead Hospital for advice during the labour and were prepared to get mum and baby to hospital supported by two midwives.

Mrs Hares said: "I don't know what I would have done if the ambulance team wasn't there."

Mrs Hares said her 18-year-old daughter Sian helped during the labour, having delivered another of her siblings previously.

She now wants to be a midwife.

Ellis spent nine days in the neonatal intensive care unit at Southmead.

He was cooled, using a technique pioneered in Bristol to minimise swelling that may have occurred while he was distressed during the labour.

Dad, Roger said: "Ellis is doing really well and I phoned the ambulance service to let them know.

"We were quite chuffed to know they had been honoured."

Ms Pickersgill said: "This is the type of incident you hope you never have to attend.

"But this was a great team effort that, most importantly, resulted in a positive outcome for mother and baby."

GWAS chief executive Martin Flaherty presented the chief officer's commendations and awards to the team that had helped deliver Ellis.

Chief officer's awards honoured GWAS staff who had done a good job in a range of scenarios, along with those who helped support colleagues or developed better working practices for ambulance staff.

Martin Flaherty said: "It is important that staff who go above and beyond the call of duty are recognised for their dedication.

"Also, this ceremony recognises and thanks those members of the public and of our many partner organisations who have supported us by responding, as individuals and groups, and contributing to excellent patient care."

Copyright 2011 Bristol United Press

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