A BABY who arrived in the back of a car while on the way to Torbay Hospital is doing well. Baby James, whose parents Lawrence and Julie Hockaday, live in Bradley Valley, Newton Abbot, was seven days overdue. 'I was having cramps all week but I did not really take any notice,' said 34-year-old Mrs Hockaday. 'On Friday evening I phoned the hospital to say the cramps were getting bad. They were coming every 10 minutes, but they said to get some rest and phone again when the cramps were coming on top of one another. No sooner had I put the phone down than that happened and we knew then we had to rush. 'By the time we got to B and Q my waters broke. When we got to Penn Inn his head had come out. I was worried that I was sitting on the baby's head and we finally pulled over at the Devon Motorhomes Garage, Kingskerswell. The ambulance was there in what seemed like two minutes. 'He is perfectly fine. The midwife is happy with him,' she said. Her four-year-old daughter Alison was impressed that her mother had been in an ambulance, though she was a little sad at not being present at the birth. Mr Hockaday, 33, who works for Centrax, made a 999 call from his car to South Western Ambulance Service, and just minutes later little James came into the world. Rachel Courtier, who has worked for the ambulance control centre in Exeter for 18 months, gave advice over the phone and after the birth calmly advised Mr Hockaday to keep James warm and wrapped up and to ensure that his airway was clear before the couple looked out for the ambulance. The crew arrived shortly after and took them to hospital. 'The ambulance arrived quickly but every second seems so long when you are panicking because your baby has been born in the dark in the back of a car,' said the proud father. Rachel said it was the first baby that she had helped deliver over the phone. 'Both parents remained calm and did really well. It must have been difficult for dad with it being so dark and the complications of delivery in the car by the side of the road. The crew arrived quickly, provided treatment on scene before taking them to hospital. It was a great team effort.'
Friday 23rd March 2007 12:00 am