Leiston baby drama couple give thanks to ambulance call handler

left to right: Emma Rook, Zoe Shawki and James Boswell with baby Joseph - the Leiston family met amb

left to right: Emma Rook, Zoe Shawki and James Boswell with baby Joseph - the Leiston family met ambulance call handler Zoe to thank her for her help on the day their baby arrived. - Credit: Archant

A couple whose baby arrived too quickly for them to reach hospital in time have met and thanked the ambulance call handler who helped keep them calm during the delivery.

A couple whose baby arrived too quickly for them to reach hospital in time have met and thanked the ambulance call handler who helped keep them calm during the delivery.

Realising baby was suddenly on the way, James Boswell rolled up his sleeves and set about the task of delivering his new son – while partner Emma Rook pushed... and held the phone to his ear so he could take instructions from the ambulance service.

Now the couple have met up with East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) call handler Zoe Shawki ,who gave advice and instructions over the phone and kept them calm as a reassuring voice during the drama.

Mr Boswell, 50, and Ms Rook, 35, of Garrett Crescent, Leiston, had been to Ipswich Hospital twice in the early stages of labour but returned home to wait.


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However, when baby Joseph decided he was in a hurry to arrive in the world, they knew there was no way they would be able to drive the 40-minute trip to Ipswich before he was born.

They called 999 and Mr Boswell, who works at Tesco and also as an artist, received a call from Zoe at the trust’s emergency operations centre in Norwich.

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He said: “We were both in a bit of a panic. I phoned the midwife at the hospital and she asked if we could get in, but it was too late by then and the hospital phoned 999.

“It was just so sudden and I came across a bit flustered on the phone.

“I can remember Zoe being quite firm and was clear with her instructions, which is exactly what I needed. She was very reassuring.

“It was an amazing experience.”

Joseph was born in their bedroom at 8.10am on July 12 weighing 7lb 4oz, 10 minutes before the ambulance crew and midwife arrived. Mum and baby were checked over, but did not need to be taken to hospital.

Dental nurse Ms Rook said: “We are so grateful and can’t thank Zoe enough.

“She helped us by giving James clear and brilliant advice and instructions over the phone and helped to bring our little boy into this world safely.

“Without her, goodness knows how we would have dealt with it! We will forever be grateful to Zoe.”

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