Better Care

Imms team to rescue in specal delivery drama

A very special delivery followed a "call the midwife!" cry after an expectant couple were forced to make a dramatic emergency stop en route to Birmingham Women's Hospital.

BCHC immunisation nurse Jo Fisher has long held ambitions to work in maternity services – but she never expected to answer the calling during an ordinary working day!

Jo was the first medically trained person on the scene when a couple realised they weren’t going to complete the journey to the Women’s Hospital in time for the imminent birth of their baby and pulled off the road - in the first place they could find - for nature to take its course.

Desperate for help, the couple had stopped in the driveway of the Springfield Centre, in Selly Oak - – nearly two miles from Birmingham Women’s Hospital.

Luca Steed born in car park with help from imms team
WHAT AN ENTRANCE! Little Luca made his bow in the Springfield Centre car park with help from the BCHC immunisation team.

In a one in a million chance, they happened to park next to the team base for the BCHC child immunisation teamAnd the team effort that followed was a shining example of BCHC values in action, with several immunisation team colleagues pitching in to help.

As if that wasn’t lucky enough, the first person they encountered was the team’s admin assistant Kelly Hall, whose daughter Lyndsey is a midwife at Heartlands Hospital.

“I quickly got Lyndsey on the phone who started telling me what to do, check how the baby was,” said Kelly.

“Then I called inside to summon help. By complete chance, they’d pulled up outside a building full of trained nurses!”

Colleague Jo Fisher had just got back from a school vaccination clinic and was catching up on some paperwork before heading home for the day.

 “Kelly shouted for help and I was the nearest person,” said Jo.

“With a background in children’s intensive care, I didn’t hesitate - I ran outside and found the dad calling an ambulance on his mobile and Kelly on the phone to her daughter.”

Imms nurse Jo Fisher with baby Luca Steed
Jo Fisher with baby Luca

Jo said the baby’s head and shoulders were already visible and was relieved to find mum and baby doing well – despite the unconventional setting for the new arrival.

“It was a real team effort that had to come together very quickly,” said Jo, a mum of three boys.

“The dad threw me his phone so I could speak to the ambulance service and, before we knew it, a little baby boy had made his entrance.

“He was a good colour, seemed fine, so I scooped him up in my hand and checked he was breathing.

“Then I asked mum if she was okay to hold him and, when she said yes, I popped him on her chest and we wrapped the blanket around them both.

“A minute or so later, two ambulances arrived and dad came inside, where the team made him a cup of tea while the paramedics attended to mum.

“I wanted to be a midwife so now the team are all taking the mickey, telling me I should go and do it. But, really, it was a fantastic effort by all the team and I just helped nature take its course.

“It was not something you would expect – and quite a lovely surprise for the team to help a family like that.”

In no way fazed by his unusual arrival, little Luca weighed in at a healthy six lb nine oz and his mum and dad – Sheena and Andy Steed, of King's Heath, can’t wait until he’s old enough to take in the dramatic story!

“We are so incredibly grateful to everyone in the immunisation team and also to the ambulance crews,” said 35-year-old Sheena, a secondary school science teacher.

“After the birth of my first baby, I was determined to have whatever pain relief was going – gas, air, all of it! But Luca had other ideas!”

Proud dad Andy had been at work when he was summoned home for the dash to the maternity unit; but when he arrived about 20 minutes later, nature was already taking its course.

“The waters broke as soon as I arrived home and so we phoned the Women’s Hospital and jumped straight into the car,” said the 35-year old business analyst.

“We didn’t know where we were when we pulled into the Springfield Centre – it was just the first place we could get off the road. For us to chance upon trained nurses, with a ‘hotline’ to a midwife was incredibly lucky. It was just meant to be.”

With Luca’s arrival officially timed at 2.53pm in the afternoon, the whole drama had unfolded in less than an hour from Sheena’s initial call to Andy’s work.

Immunisation team manager Fiona Nicholls said: “It was quite a drama and we’re very proud of the whole team effort.

“Everyone rose to the occasion – Kelly on the phone to her daughter, while others were making a cup of tea for Andy, getting advice from infection control colleagues, cleaning up afterwards and, throughout all of this, making sure we were able to maintain business as usual.

“We had two very proud parents and a very proud immunisation team manager that day!”

Sheena, Andy, Marisa and Luca Steed
FAMILY AFFAIR: Little Luca with proud mum and dad Sheena and Andy and big sister Marisa (17 months)