On Monday 11th January in the early hours of the morning, 41-year-old Louise Mackrill, was woken up by heavy contractions – a week before her due date.
Pilates instructor Louise and her husband, Tim Mackrill, were advised by a midwife to call 999 after they realised that there was no way they would make it to the hospital in time.
“The 999 call-taker was absolutely brilliant and told me exactly what I needed to do to be fully prepared for the birth.
“He calmed me down, so I was level-headed and ready to help my wife.”
Roy Gray, who was the 999 Call taker who spoke to Tim on the phone, said:
“I am so proud of how they both handled themselves that morning, by staying calm and listening to my instructions in order to safely bring their baby into the world.”
The ambulance crew despatched to the 999 call were Paramedic Kirsty Large, Technician David Harley and Student Paramedic Emily Copson, who is currently doing her degree at the University of Northampton.
Just as the crew were logging on to begin their shift, the call came through via the control room.
The control room informed them that Louise’s contractions were getting stronger and felt a strong urge to push.
The family were going to be in excellent hands as the crew comprised two war veterans – former Army Driver Kirsty, who served for nine years including in Bosnia and Iraq and Technician David, who served in the RAF Regiment for 33 years, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Kirsty has helped deliver six other babies since she joined EMAS two and a half years ago, so she was confident the trio would be able to help.
Paramedic Kirsty said:
“One of these seven babies was delivered in a layby in the back of an ambulance by myself and my crewmate David. So, my experiences at EMAS and from the Army mean I can handle pressure quite well.
“When we received the details from control, we quickly got into the ambulance and put on the blue lights and sirens.
“It was our mission to get to Louise as quickly as possible, so we could help her to deliver her baby safely into the world.”
When the crew arrived at the address, they were greeted by dad Tim and eldest son, 3-year-old Harry. Before Kirsty, Dave and Emily entered the property; they ensured they were wearing the correct PPE, putting on their gloves, face masks and aprons.
“We sprang into action, providing Louise with reassurance and encouragement, telling her to push when she felt the urge to do so, as well as providing her with pain relief.
“I acted as a human stirrup for Louise, holding her foot up and allowing her to push her foot against my hand to act as a resistance to aid her.
“Within minutes baby Laurie was born and it was a lovely time getting to witness both mum, dad, Laurie’s older brother, and his gran, meeting him for the first time.”
The crew’s next priority was to get new mum Louise and baby Laurie to the hospital to get checked over.
“We made sure Laurie stayed warm by wrapping him up and putting on his little hat before navigating getting Louise and Laurie out of the house and into the back of the ambulance.”
This was Emily’s first birth as a student paramedic, and Kirsty has nothing but praise with how she handled the situation.
“Emily was behind me every step of the way doing a fantastic job of encouraging mum, supplying her with gas and air and offering her water.
“Emily was excited and keen to learn what was in the best interests for both Louise and baby Laurie from the onset, and she will continue to grow and develop as she gains more experience.
“This was very much a team effort and I am grateful that I was working with Dave and Emily throughout.”
Kirsty, Dave and Emily were are all delighted to hear from Tim and Louise and wish them all the best of luck for the future as a family.
Paramedic Kirsty Large added:
“Louise and Laurie were our first patients of the day, and they made the rest of our shift an amazing one as we knew we made a difference to the start of Laurie’s incredible journey into this world.
“Thank you so much for the flowers, chocolates and handmade card; they are such lovely gestures.
“We thought the name of the baby was beautiful, Tim and Louise had a few name ideas for their son but was still undecided until after he was born, and Laurie is such a lovely choice.
“It was a joy to meet the family and they were all so lovely.”