By Connie Osborne
A MALVERN mother has met with the woman who guided her through a surprise delivery over the phone.
Hilary Crump travelled to the NHS 111 base in Brierley Hill to thank call handler Christina Lees, who helped her safely deliver son Benjamin Ford who made his shocking appearance in the bathroom of their Michael Crescent home.
The 26-year-old started to feel stomach pains in the early hours of February 16, and after taking paracetamol and trying to sleep she eventually rang the urgent helpline for advice.
Little did she know she was already in labour and ‘miracle Ben’ was on his way.
She said: “I woke up at 3am with horrendous stomach ache, stomach ache I had never felt before. I kept getting these pains which were coming in waves and were textbook contractions but I didn’t realise.
“I honestly thought something awful was happening, I was so scared. Next thing I knew something started to come out and I was telling Christina on the phone.”
The auxiliary care worker added: “As a woman you know your body and if everything is normal you wouldn’t question it, so it was really frightening.
“But Christina was incredibly helpful and supportive. She was there for me before and after the baby was born and waited until the paramedics arrived.”
Father Karl Ford, 37, added: “She shot off the toilet saying something was coming out. Next thing we knew Ben was coming.
“We’ve been engaged for six years, he obviously thought hurry up dad you need to get your finger out now. We are just in complete shock.”
Baby Benjamin arrived safely at 4.57am weighing 5lb 1.5oz and thanks to Miss Lees, who has worked at the call centre since November, he could be one of the first NHS 111 babies to be born.
The 21-year-old said: “I remember going through all the questions with her and she was just saying how much pain she was in.
“Next thing she said something was coming out of her. I was just in shock. I needed to make sure it was nothing life-threatening and I just kept working through the questions trying to help them.
“It just all went so quick and I just heard the baby crying and it was incredible.
“I want to be a paramedic so maybe I will get to see it first hand one day too.”