Youngster praised after baby drama

AN eight-year-old girl has been hailed a “little star” after staying calm when her mother went into labour unexpectedly.The ordeal was quite a shock for Hope Farrelly - especially as her 34-year-old mother Melissa Cook had no idea she was pregnant.

By Sharon Asplin

AN eight-year-old girl has been hailed a “little star” after staying calm when her mother went into labour unexpectedly.

The ordeal was quite a shock for Hope Farrelly - especially as her 34-year-old mother Melissa Cook had no idea she was pregnant.

The extraordinary incident took place on April 4 at the family home in Hunt Avenue, Heybridge, near Maldon.


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Clinical assessor Sarah Dearing took the call at ambulance headquarters in Chelmsford.

She said: “When Hope came on the line all she said was that her Mummy had a lot of pain in her tummy.

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“It must have been quite frightening because Melissa was crying out. In spite of that, when I asked Hope for her name and address, she was very clear and precise.

“While colleagues despatched an emergency care practitioner and an ambulance to the address, I stayed on the line with Hope.

“Four minutes after the call started Hope told me that a head had appeared and that Mummy was having a baby.

“Despite all that, Hope went to get blankets to wrap her new baby brother up and was able to tell me that he was breathing.

“That was confirmed a minute later when we heard baby Sonny cry, which was a very good sign.”

Hope said yesterday: “It was a bit scary at first because Mummy was screaming in pain.

“I stood there for a minute and thought that I had to do something, so I ran into my bedroom and got my mobile phone and dialled 999. When the lady answered, I told her I needed an ambulance.

“I was quite shocked when the baby's head appeared but I helped Mummy to pull him out.

“The lady on the phone said I should get some blankets, so I did. I think Mummy was quite brave because she helped me.”

Ms Cook said: “I had woken up that morning with a bad stomach ache but did not think too much of it.

“When the head appeared I screamed and Hope quickly came and asked if I was all right. She then helped deliver her little baby brother.

“I am really proud of her; she held it together when I was losing it. I cannot imagine what it must have been like for her; she was just amazing.

“You read about people having babies when they did not realise it and you think 'yeah right', but now I will be a bit more sympathetic towards them.

“I had my periods right throughout the nine months, and did not even notice when my water broke.

“What is more incredible is that Sonny, who weighed in at 6lb 11oz, was bigger than my other three children so I really should have known.

“Hope is an absolute star - I can't put into words how proud I am of her.”

Mrs Dearing added: “I have helped deliver a few babies over the phone, but this is the first time I've had a child at the other end of the line.

“She was really sweet and did everything I asked of her - she really did do well.”

Ms Cook and Sonny were later taken to St Peter's Hospital in Maldon for a check up.

n A woman who went into labour while she was stuck in massive tailbacks following a fatal car crash has given birth to a baby boy.

The 33-year-old from Braintree was caught up in the major delays after a lorry driver died on the M11 near to Stansted Airport at about 3am on Tuesday.

An ambulance was called at about 3pm and took her to the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow, where she gave birth later in the evening.

An ambulance service spokesman said: “Childbirth is hard enough without this sort of incident complicating matters. We wish her and her family well.”

Mother and son are believed to be doing well.

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