A quick-thinking porter has been praised for helping to deliver a baby girl outside the lifts at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
New parents Henry and Mellissa Pettitt, aged 31 and 27 respectively, were making their way up to the Hospital’s Maternity Suite when Baby Sophie decided that she could not wait to make her arrival.
Luckily, Porter Stephen Eadie had just come out of the lift and was able to support the couple by raising the alarm along with cradling Baby Sophie’s head in the minute before Community Midwife Cat Tipling arrived.
Staff from A&E and Paramedics had also dashed to the scene to help and Baby Sophie was born behind a screen at 10:53pm on Sunday, June 18, weighing 7lb 14oz.
Mellissa and Henry have thanked Stephen and the other medical teams who came to their aid.
Mellissa said: “If you had told me that I would give birth in a hospital corridor, I would not have believed you. I thought labour would have taken much longer and that I would have time to get to the delivery suite but everything happened so quickly.
“I would like to thank Stephen for being there and helping us. It would have been far scarier if he had not been there as my husband would not be able to go for help as I would have needed him.
“It would not have been the same if we were on our own. Sophie was coming and as soon as Stephen, Cat and the rest of the team got there I relaxed as I knew they were taking care of us.”
Mellissa began to suffer niggling pains earlier in the day but put it down to being heavily pregnant.
Later, when the pains became more frequent and intense, Mellissa contacted the midwives at the hospital and she was advised to take a bath to ease the early labour pains.
But things progressed much quicker than anticipated as Mellissa’s waters broke while she was in the bath and the couple made the journey from their home in Little Fransham to the hospital. They contacted the midwifery team on arrival.
Mellissa said: “I thought labour would take ages but when we arrived at the hospital, I was struggling to walk and my husband found me a wheelchair.
“When we reached the end of the corridor, I felt a contraction pushing down and I tried my hardest not to push but her head just kept coming out.”
At that point, Stephen came out of the lift and initially offered to wheel them up to maternity but on realising that there wasn’t time he put out a call for help over the radio and found something to lay under Mellissa.
Stephen, who has been a porter for four years, said: “I was cradling the baby’s head for a short while before assistance arrived.
“I was just there in the right place at the right time. It’s just part of my job.”
Midwife Cat Tipling dashed down to the lifts from Waterlily after getting the call at 10:52pm. Shortly after she arrived at the scene Sophie was born at 10:53pm.
Cat, who is training for a half-marathon, said: “It was a very lovely and normal delivery, which happened to take place in a corridor.
“Babies choose where they want to be born and there is no stopping them but everyone who was there was happy and smiling. This could have been a really stressful situation for everyone but we all worked well together as a team. When the baby was born everyone was really happy, it was really special.
“Stephen was really supportive and lovely to the couple. What could have been a very awkward and uncomfortable situation became unique. He was really efficient in calling for medical staff.”
Chief Nurse Emma Hardwick, who is also a midwife, has praised Stephen and Cat for their support of the family.
She said: “A corridor is not the ideal setting for a birth but the quick thinking by everyone involved, especially Stephen and Cat, ensured a smooth and happy delivery. I would like to congratulate Henry and Mellissa on the arrival of Sophie.
“Maternity services have been developed at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital to include the Midwife Led Waterlily Birth Centre and the Midwife Led Pathway, which includes the Home Birth Service.”
Anyone who is interested in learning more about maternity services at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital contact 01553 214903.
Mellissa, Sophie and Henry Pettitt with Porter Stephen Eadie (4407)
Midwife Cat Tipling and Porter Stephen Eadie meet up with Mellissa, Sophie and Henry Pettitt (4410)
Happy family – Mellissa, Sophie and Henry Pettitt (4413)
Porter Stephen Eadie cradles Baby Sophie, who he helped to deliver (4416)
Midwife Cat Tipling has a cuddle with Sophie, who was born outside the lifts (4418)
Pictured at the scene are: Porter Stephen Eadie, Mellissa, Sophie and Henry Pettitt with Midwife Cat Tipling (4422)