A FATHER delivered his own baby in a car on the roadside and saved his life with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, after being told nobody at a nearby hospital was available to help.
Craig Baker was driving his partner Gemma Fraser, 23, to Hull Royal Infirmary when she went into labour with her son, Nathan.
But by the time the couple, from Kilham, near Driffield, reached Beverley, the baby had almost arrived.
Mr Baker called 999 and an operator said she would contact the nearby East Riding Community Hospital, but then apparently explained “nobody can help you”.
The 25-year-old was then forced to deliver his son in the front passenger seat of his Ford Focus.
The car was just 50 metres from the hospital site in Swinemoor Lane.
This he duly did, bringing his 9lb 4oz son into the world, but joy turned to panic when he feared the baby had stopped breathing, so then administered life-saving resuscitation.
Reflecting on his experience, Mr Baker said he thought it was “disgusting” that staff at a community hospital had failed to come to their aid in their hour of need.
“I delivered the baby while I was on the phone to the ambulance lady,” he said.
“She said she would ring through to the community hospital in Beverley, but she came back on and said ‘nobody can help you’.
“It’s disgusting, really – it didn’t have to be a midwife, a doctor could have come out or just anybody with some towels, they would have known more than me – but nothing.”
He added: “I had to give him mouth-to-mouth – he was moving his hands and then he just froze.
“I was panicking and the lady on the phone talked me through what to do.
“He started crying and then he stopped. I had to do it again.
“It was all very scary. It’s not something you can prepare yourself for.”
Nathan was born at 3.28pm on Tuesday, September 24 – six minutes before an ambulance arrived.
The three were then taken by ambulance to Hull Royal Infirmary but are now back at home with Nathan’s sisters – two-year-old Phoebe, and Izzy, five.
Ms Fraser said: “He was four days late. We rang the hospital at 12.45pm and they told me to take two paracetemol and have a hot bath and ring back in an hour.
“Twenty minutes later I had four contractions in five minutes.
“I rang back and they told me to go through.”
Services at the hospital – a £19m facility opened in July last year – are provided by Humber NHS Foundation Trust and Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
A spokeswoman for Humber NHS Foundation Trust said: “None of our staff based at East Riding Community Hospital were contacted.
“As a trust we do not provide midwifery services.”
The Locality Director of Emergency Operations Centre at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Ben Holdaway, said: “Staff in our Emergency Operations Centres are trained to give advice and instruction to callers so that immediate care can be provided until the ambulance crew arrives.
“Patients are advised to stay in the location they are calling from to ensure that our staff can find them as quickly as possible.”
He did, however, have a personal message for Mr Baker and his family.
“On behalf of the Trust, I would like to offer our congratulations to the family on their new arrival,” he said.