A baby boy and his mum have been reunited with a South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) crew – six months after they delivered him in an emergency home birth.
Ellee Styles, 21, went into labour unexpectedly during the early hours of 7 April in her bathroom in the Penhill area of Swindon.
Family members came together to help, and Ellee’s mum called 999 when she started bleeding.
The crew ensured baby Freddy was delivered safely at 3.14am, almost two weeks ahead of his due date. He weighted just 4lb 12oz at birth, and is Ellee’s first child.
Ellee and Freddy went to Swindon Ambulance Station on Monday 7 October to meet-up with the crew.
Ellee, who works as a barmaid in a local pub, said: “I didn’t know I was in labour. But during the night I felt some discomfort, and told my dad I needed to push. Then what felt like seconds later I gave birth.
“My pregnancy wasn’t great, but with help from South Western Ambulance Service my birth couldn’t have gone any smoother. Thank you to the call handler who advised us and to the crew who attended and delivered my tiny baby boy into the world.”
Ellee had been in hospital for a check-up hours before the birth, but she was discharged because she wasn’t showing any signs of labour.
Gerard Plunkett, a 999 call handler in the SWASFT 999 Control Centre, instructed the family how to prepare for the birth, while the crew were on the way.
Paramedic Gary Ratcliffe and Emergency Care Assistant Christina Clifford arrived minutes later, as Freddy’s head began to emerge.
They were forced to take the door off the bathroom, so they could assist Ellee inside. It was Gary’s 29th emergency baby delivery and Christina’s first.
After the birth they drove Ellee and Freddy by ambulance to the Great Western Hospital’s maternity unit.
Ellee added: “The call handler was absolutely amazing. He helped my mum to stay calm and do everything she needed to do in case my son was born before medical help arrived.
“Freddy just wasn’t waiting in the tiny box bathroom, and as the crew arrived I was ready to push. They were so calm and encouraging.
“It didn’t really sink in until we arrived home from hospital the next day.”
Gary said: “It’s always lovely to help bring life into the world. And being able to meet up patients afterwards makes our job all the more rewarding.”