Great Yarmouth mum’s search for stranger who saved baby’s life during traumatic birth
09:49 23 November 2012
Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012
A GRATEFUL mother whose baby nearly died on the doorstep of the hospital she was frantically trying to reach is desperate to thank the caring stranger who saved his life.
Baby TJ’s complicated and traumatic birth took place in the car park at Gorleston’s James Paget University Hospital, helped by his father and a single anonymous passer-by.
The mystery woman stepped in when the baby emerged blue and swollen with the cord wrapped round his neck - unravelling the obstruction and allowing him to take his first breath, before she walked away and was never seen again.
Now the baby’s mother Kristy Hoare, 21, - who only learned of the life-saving feat much later - is keen to thank the woman who had been holding her hand and keeping her calm for her support when she needed it most.
“I cannot remember if she was going in to the hospital or coming out but I am just so thankful,” she said. “I was glad my partner was there because he dealt with it all really well. That lady was helping and supporting - she was just a member of the public and so many others just walked past. I would like her to have some recognition for what she has done.
“As the weeks have gone by I have felt more and more that I would like her to know how grateful I am. I want people to know what a great woman she is. If it wasn’t for her my son would not be here right now.”
The drama unfolded on September 12. Ms Hoare, who was already six days overdue, had been in painful slow labour for four weeks when her contractions started at 8am, becoming intense and frequent almost instantly.
Her mother quickly rallied to take her and partner Anthony Heatherington, 23, to the hospital and find cover for their little girl Megan, aged two and a half.
But their journey from Caister was hampered by temporary traffic lights and the untimely opening of Breydon Bridge delaying them by crucial minutes, with the baby very much on its way.
On arrival Ms Hoare, still in her pyjamas, delivered the baby’s head standing up, just metres from the main entrance.
“I could barely walk,” she said. “I leaned against a brick pillar at the entrance just to take a minute to get enough strength to walk into the hospital. But after a minute I had a major contraction. I tried to walk again but I just couldn’t.
“TJ’s head was pushing down and I knew he was coming and I just had to push.
“People didn’t believe us when we called for help and they just walked past so my husband had to start delivering it but he struggled because the cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck.
“But then a woman – aged late 30s or early 40s – rushed over to help and saved my baby’s life by untangling the cord as I pushed and gave birth.
“Other people came over then as well and one ripped a no smoking sign from the outside of the hospital which was put in front of me to shield me from public view.
“A paramedic ran over after he saw something going on and people crowding around me and then I felt my baby being placed all sloppy and wet on my stomach.
“I never saw the woman who helped me again. No one at the hospital seemed to know who she was and I don’t think she worked there but if she hadn’t helped to unwrap that cord when my partner wasn’t sure of what to do, then my beautiful baby son might have died so I’d love to find her just to say thank you for saving my baby’s life.”
“It was bitterly cold when he was born but thankfully it wasn’t raining. It was a terrifying experience and not one that I’d ever want to go through again but TJ is so beautiful he is worth everything that happened.”
TJ was born weighing 8lb 10oz - just 45 minutes after leaving the house.
Paramedics dashed over to cut the cord and rush TJ, who was blue and swollen, to the ward for some oxygen. Mother and baby went home the same day and two days later moved house to Blackfriars Road in Yarmouth where they are all recovering well.
If you know who the mystery woman was, please email firstname.lastname@example.org