Overjoyed parents Jake and Fionn Vance from Pontypridd cannot thank hospital staff enough for safely delivering their son in the dead of night in a hospital car park.
Gary Jones, Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) got the shock of his life in the early hours of Sunday, February 5th when he was leaving Prince Charles Hospital and ended up helping a mum in labour.
Parents Jake and Fionn Vance were looking forward to the arrival of their baby on February 12th, but baby Pascal had other ideas and decided to make an appearance on February 5th in the grounds of Prince Charles Hospital.
Gary said: “I was on call Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) when I was called into work at around half past two in the morning on February 5th to cover the hospital as my colleague on nights ODP Paul Benjamin was busy in the A&E department.
“When I was leaving just over an hour later by the A&E E exit, I saw a young man outside the main entrance frantically trying to gain access. I called over to him explaining that the entrance access to the hospital was via the A&E department. He then said his wife was in labour, so I directed him to maternity unit and then offered him a lift over. He was more than a bit stressed and took a wheelchair telling me his wife was in the car (the penny then dropped) his wife was in labour in the car.
“I followed him to the car and saw that the mother was on all fours on the floor. When I looked I could see the baby’s head.
“I was concerned about the baby’s temperature as it was a cold night so I removed my top and wrapped it around the baby’s head in order to preserve body heat.
“At this point the team from A&E arrived led by Sister Pamela Parsons who brought a trolley and torch which we used to observe the baby.
“I did think about delivering the baby but I was informed that the midwifery team were on their way so I continued to observe the baby and was relatively happy with him.
“This proved to be the correct call, as the baby would be warmer in the “oven” than outside and I was also concerned about potential bleeding on delivery.
“The cavalry arrived in the form of the midwifery team and staff midwife Amy James along with HCA Bernadette Fowler safely delivered him.
“Mother and baby were taken to the A&E department and a paediatric emergency call team were called.
“I stayed around until things settled down to find out, thankfully, that both mother and baby were ok.
“I got home at half past five, jumped into bed and the wife said to me “you’re freezing” and I said “you’ll never believe what’s just happened to me.
“I was certainly in the right place at the right time and made the correct calls which resulted in the right outcome.
“Although the initial care was carried out by myself, I must put on record that the support from A&E staff, midwifery team and the anaesthetic staff was immense.
“It was a great team effort with a wonderful result”.
Senior sister Pam Parsons of the emergency care centre was at the scene and said: “I had a torch and staff nurses Beth Harding and Laura Soal and auxiliaries Karen Howe and Jackie Cole brought blankets and towels for mother and baby.
“Following delivery, the baby was taken into the centre to be examined by the paediatric resuscitation team and was found to be fit and healthy, weighing 6lbs 8.5ozs.
“The nurses brought mum into the unit when she was able to be moved.
“I never want to go through that again, but more hands make it better. Thank goodness Gary was there.”
Gary started in the theatre department in Prince Charles Hospital over 22 years ago and has been able to attend various resuscitation courses for both children and adults and he is certain that these skills certainly helped him on that Sunday morning.
Gary said: “All of the ODPs in our team are highly skilled and I have no doubt that if any of my colleagues were in the same situation they would have made the same choices as I did.”
“The ODPs are a vital part of the resuscitation team and are involved in some sad situations which sometimes, despite our best efforts, we can’t change, which, for me makes the outcome of Sunday morning more satisfying.”
Pascal Maurice is now at home in Pontypridd with parents Jake, 31 and Fionn, 29 and sister Estella Renea, aged 2.
Jake said: “I was woken up by Fionn who was feeling very uncomfortable. She rang the Royal Glamorgan Hospital and we were advised to go to Prince Charles Hospital.
“When we got to Prince Charles Hospital, I had difficulty finding maternity and parked as close to the A&E department as I could.
“Gary came along and offered his help. He came to the car with me putting his jacket over Fionn’s shoulders and also his t-shirt to cover Pascal’s head.
“We are really grateful to Gary and would like to say a big thank you. He really is a Good Samaritan.”
Fionn added: “I would like to thank Gary and all of the staff who helped me that night.
“It was scary at the time but everyone kept me warm and I felt very well looked after.
“I would like to thank the midwives on the unit at Prince Charles Hospital and also at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital who looked after me throughout my pregnancy.”