AN emergency call operator has had an emotional reunion with the baby she helped a grandmother to deliver.
Sarah Unsworth acted cool and calm when she found herself on the other end of a 999 call as a father-to-be told her his fiancé was about to go into labour at home.
The 25-year-old Broughton-based ambulance call handler helped Joanne Pickles guide her daughter-in-law Hayley Thompson through birth and after only nine minutes, baby Lexi Griss was born at nine pounds one ounce, moments before the ambulance arrived.
Earlier this week the family met with Sarah at the North West Ambulance Service’s control centre in Broughton to thank her for what she’d done.
New mum Hayley, 24, new dad Dave Griss, 26, their four-year-old son Leighton and grandma and grandad Joanne and John Pickles, all from Colne, east Lancashire, met with Sarah and gran Joanne said she was a calming influence.
“She was such a big help,” she said. “Just having someone who knew what she was doing helped calm me down and get us through it.”
Hayley, who was one day overdue, had intended to go to Airedale General Hospital, east of Colne, but after her contractions sped up rapidly she realised she needed to push. And after a 999 call and 10 minutes of Dave relaying Sarah’s over-the-phone instructions, Lexi was born at 3.20pm on February 29, 2016, making her a leap year baby.
And Hayley says she doesn’t regret anything, labelling the birth “magical”.
She said: “It was a really nice moment, having my family there. I’m just glad Lexi is healthy and there were no complications and can’t thank Sarah enough for what she did.”
And this isn’t the first time Sarah, from Blackpool, has been called into action over the phone. The South Shore resident says Lexi was the third baby she had delivered on a 999 call but says it was nice to meet the people involved.
“Sometimes they cut you off straight after the birth, which of course I understand but I really appreciate them coming down to thank me,” Sarah said as she held Lexi. “Lexi is beautiful and it’s been amazing to meet her.”