Dad delivers baby on tollway ramp

September 30, 2009 4:34:17 AM PDT
Most babies are born in hospitals, but Jayda Harris entered this world on a Tri-State Tollway ramp. Her parents tried to make it to the hospital Sunday night but dad ended up delivering the baby.

LISTEN TO THE 911 CALL: Download a recording of the 911 call (wav format)

In far north suburban Gurnee, 911 operators are trained to calm panicked callers, find out what the problem is, send help, and give emergency medical instructions.

Molly Jones did it all when a frantic grandmother phoned from her SUV.

Barnes: My daughter's having a baby in my car. She's panicking, and I don't know what to do.

Jones learned exactly where the vehicle was, dispatched an ambulance, and told the grandmother, Charmane Barnes, she could use her jacket to keep the baby warm.

Jones: Do you have a strong or shoelace to tie around the umbilical cord.
Barnes: Yeah, we're taking it off the shoe right now.
Jones: Gently wipe off the baby's mouth and nose, okay?

Barnes then talks to the baby.

Barnes: Okay, don't cry baby. Don't cry.
Jones: That isn't a bad thing if the baby's crying. Then you know that the baby's breathing. Okay, you guys did a great job.

It all began when Jones and the parents, Ashley Guzman and Daniel Harris of Hanover Park were shopping in Gurnee Mills, and Guzman began having contractions.

Jones headed for a hospital in Hoffman Estates, but the baby couldn't wait. "I pushed, and maybe five minutes later, he head was out. And I felt it come out. I thought I heard her fall, but she didn't fall," said Guzman.

"The baby slid right out onto my hand. And I kinda blacked out for a minute. I didn't think it would be in the middle of a highway," said Harris.

"I guess I could say she was blessed, 'cause it being a very unsanitary place, and she could have died. A lot of things could have gone wrong in that car. So I guess it was meant for her to be here," said Guzman.

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