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Premature Birth Mum Thanks Lifesaving Ambulance Team

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A mum who gave birth three months early has been reunited with the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) team who saved her new-born baby. 

Lucy Knight, 29, went into labour 13 weeks ahead of her due date at home with boyfriend Dean Glover, 27, in Ilminster, Somerset.

Baby Eli Glover was born on 12 July, at just 26 weeks and six days, and weighed only 846g (1lb and 14 oz).

Eli was in a critical condition, but survived and was well enough to go home two weeks before he had been due.

Lucy, Dean, and Eli made a special visit to Taunton Ambulance Station on Thursday 7 February to thank the SWASFT team for helping to save Eli’s life.

To listen to the 999 call made by Lucy to SWASFT, click here.

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Lucy said: “When Eli was born, I didn’t want to look, because I didn’t think he would be alive. But he was breathing and crying, which was a huge relief.

“I remember noticing how tiny be was. But I was in such a state of shock that I couldn’t really feel anything. I was like an empty shell with no emotion.

“We’re so grateful to the call handler for keeping me calm, and for helping us to keep Eli stable and safe until the paramedics arrived. The crew were absolutely amazing. We cannot thank them enough for getting me and Eli to the hospital safely.

“The outcome could have been very different. But so many people played a part in saving my baby’s life, and we are forever grateful to them all.

“Eli is a little miracle, and we’re so delighted he’s alive and at home with us.”

Lucy originally called 999, because she thought she might be giving birth. Minutes later Dean delivered his new son on the bathroom floor.

SWASFT Emergency Medical Dispatcher, Lydia Gardiner, who took the call, ensured Eli was breathing and was kept warm.

She said: “It’s always a privilege to help deliver a baby over the phone, and this call is one I won’t forget.

“I knew Lucy needed help when she said she was only 27 weeks pregnant but was pushing and felt like she could see the baby’s head. But when she said she was having contractions, we lost phone signal. By the time I managed to reach her the baby had been born. So my priority was then to make sure he was breathing and was kept warm. Even though the baby was struggling to breathe, the paramedics soon arrived and I handed over to them. So I had no idea if Eli was going to survive.

“I was delighted to hear Eli is doing so well, and it’s such a privilege to meet him and his family. We don’t always know the outcome of calls we take, let alone have the opportunity to meet patients.

“Lucy did exceptionally well and kept really calm in what must have been such a scary situation. I feel proud to have been able to help her when she was most in need.”

Paramedics arrived to treat Eli who was so small he could fit into the palm of his mum’s hand. Despite it being a hot day, the crew drove with the heating on to neonatal intensive care unit at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.

SWASFT Lead Paramedic, Aaron Doolan, said: “Heat loss is extremely detrimental to a new-born. So when we’re travelling to the hospital in this situation, we always turn the vehicle’s heating on, as well as wrapping a new-born in a baby blanket.”

Eli spent 76 days in the neonatal intensive care unit. During this time he had two bleeds on the brain and a partially collapsed lung.

Eli was allowed home at the end of September, and although he still has some health complications, the infant hasn’t shown any signs of permanent brain damage.

SWASFT teams help out in approximately 300 emergency birth incidents across the South West every year.

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South Western Ambulance Charity logo

South Western Ambulance Charity

The South Western Ambulance Charity, founded in 1995, uses gifted monies to benefit those in our communities who use our service and to improve the welfare of the staff and volunteers of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. 

Our charitable support covers Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire including Bristol and Swindon.

If you would like to show your appreciation for the care that you or your loved one has received from us in the form of a charitable donation please visit our online giving website: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/SWASC.