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Phone advice helps father deliver

A baby girl made a dramatic arrival when she was delivered safely at home by her father in just six minutes, as he took instructions from ambulance staff over the phone.

Like any parents, Liz and Simon Turner were eagerly looking forward to their new arrival, and it seemed that their baby was just as keen to meet them when, on June 1, Mrs Turner went in to advanced labour at home - leaving no time to get to hospital or for a midwife to arrive.

Mr Turner rang 999 just before 4.27pm when it became apparent that the baby's arrival was imminent. East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) call handler Felicity McKeegan picked up his call and was on hand to talk him through every step of the delivery.

The baby girl, now named Emma, was born just six minutes later at 4.33pm; but the drama was not over as Mr Turner realised that his newborn daughter had the umbilical cord caught around her neck and was not breathing.

With him every step of the way, Ms McKeegan talked Mr Turner through the removal of the cord and explained how to get the baby breathing again. Fortunately, he was able to follow her instructions and to the relief of everyone involved, the baby girl began to breathe and cry.

Ms McKeegan's manager Heather Brodies said: "It was apparent at the beginning of the call that the baby was delivering quickly; Felicity reassured Simon; she was very calm and collected and gave instructions very clearly as to how to deliver the baby. When the baby was born, the cord was wrapped around her neck, however thanks to the perseverance and lots of reassurance from Felicity, Simon quickly removed the cord from the neck and managed to get the baby breathing."

Following the success of the dramatic delivery, the proud new parents, from Cradley, met Ms McKeegan at EEAST's health and emergency operation centre in Bedford, where 999 calls are taken, to thank her for her role in delivering their baby girl.

Proud father Mr Turner said: "Without Felicity's calm yet firm directions I'm not entirely sure what I'd have done and where we'd be today - one thing for sure, we are extremely lucky in this country to have the services we have.

"I will forever be in awe of the people we see racing through the streets to help people in need and I will always think of what they did for us on that day - the people that helped us the most that day are hidden away, mostly without praise, on an industrial estate just outside Bedford town at the emergency call centre.

"These are amazingly humble people that deserve to be credited and thanked for all they do. It was really nice to see behind the scenes of this incredible set-up although a simple thank you will never be enough."

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