Mother describes drama as 999 call handler talks through birth over the phone

Eleven-week-old Reece Smith meets Anna Wisken, the ambulance call handler who helped deliver him wit

Eleven-week-old Reece Smith meets Anna Wisken, the ambulance call handler who helped deliver him with advice over the phone. With them is Reece's mum, Mallory Spencer, right. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

As a 999 call handler Anna Wisken is used to dealing with emergencies in all walks of life.

But one shift took an unexpected turn when heavily pregnant 24-year old Mallory Spencer called to say she was in labour,

Miss Wisken had to help Miss Spencer's family deliver the baby by talking to them on the phone, with the birth completed before ambulance staff arrived at the house.

Miss Spencer, of Hockwold cum Wilton, had just had a bath early one morning when she realised she was in labour.

'I started panicking,' Miss Spencer said.


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'I wasn't expecting to give birth for another week, and I had just planned to go to work as usual.'

But those plans were abandoned as Miss Spencer staggered to her bedroom to wake her partner Darren Smith with the news. Mr Smith immediately rang Anita Spencer, Mallory's mother, and Ann Hamilton, his mother, and the pair were at the couple's side in under 15 minutes. They rang for an ambulance, but it became obvious that Miss Spencer's baby would be born before medical services could reach her.

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Miss Wisken, just under a year into her job with East of England Ambulance Service, therefore had the daunting task of talking Miss Spencer through the birth on the phone.

And her advice helped Miss Spencer give birth to Reece Smith about 30 minutes later, at 5.47am that morning.

'I had to follow a flow-chart of questions and thankfully it all went smoothly,' Miss Wisken said.

'At first I thought it sounded like Miss Spencer had lots of time and that the ambulance would get there in time but then I was told they could see the baby's head.

'I was ecstatic when I left work that day and it's lovely to meet the family.'

She said she too was the result of a homebirth as she had been born in her mother's lounge.

Miss Spencer, also mother to Leyla, aged two, said: 'We didn't really have time to panic a lot because it all happened so quickly.

'It's quite nice to think that he was born at home and it will be a good story to tell him later, but I wouldn't want to go through it again.'

Do you have a health story for us? Email nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk

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