A mum who gave birth on a motorway has been reunited with the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) staff who helped her.
Jayne Rowland, 36, was on her way to the hospital when she went into the final stages of labour in roadworks on the M5 in Somerset.
Her partner Joshua Mogg, 29, called 999 minutes before baby Harry was born in their car on the southbound carriageway near junction 24.
Paramedics and police arrived to find the family stopped on the inside lane of the motorway because there was no hard shoulder.
Jayne, Joshua and Harry made a special visit from their home in Street to Taunton Ambulance Station on Thursday 13 February to thank the responders in person.
Jayne said: “I’d had discomfort for around three weeks, and didn’t feel anything different when I woke up that day. But the pain got worse and worse in the car, so I asked Josh to pull over.
“Everything seemed to happen very quickly. The call handler talked it through with us, and then the paramedics and police arrived. They all made such a difference. We’re so thankful.”
The incident happened on 1 November when Jayne and Josh were travelling to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton for her to be induced at 9.30 am.
But Harry was born in the front passenger seat of the car at 7.57 am, just 30 minutes after they left home. He weighed 7lb 8oz at birth and is brother to eight-year-old Benjamin. Harry’s birth certificate has his place of birth recorded as ‘M5’.
Jayne, who works as a teaching assistant, said: “I just wanted to get to the hospital safely and on time. It wasn’t until afterwards that I realised how much danger we were in because there was nowhere safe to stop in the roadworks.”
Jayne praised a lorry driver who shielded them from traffic by stopping and putting his hazard warning lights on.
She also expressed thanks to the Avon and Somerset Police officers who returned their car and personal possessions from the scene to them.
Joshua, who works as a tree surgeon, said: “Jayne was my priority. So I was first trying to get her to hospital as quickly and safely as possible. Then I just had to get out of the car and get on with it.
“Delivering my baby son on a motorway is probably the best thing I’ve done in my life. I feel it’s given me a stronger bond with Harry.”
Call handler Jonathan Leaton talked Josh and Jayne through the unusual delivery.
Jonathan said: “They both did incredibly well throughout the entire call. They remained calm and followed every instruction which ensured the best possible outcome.”
Operations Officer Dan Wilsher was first on the scene, before he was joined by Paramedic Simon White and Student Paramedic Alexandra Luxton.
Dan said: “It was a rather unusual incident to attend. I remember being very aware of the safety aspect, as Josh and Jayne’s car was in a live traffic lane. When I approached the passenger door, I saw a tiny little face wrapped in blankets looking back at me. We made sure baby Harry was warm and well and that Jayne was comfortable before taking them both to the maternity unit at Musgrove. It’s certainly an incident I won’t forget!”
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