The cotton face masks a Kentucky couple wore to the hospital came in handy when they used them to bind their baby’s umbilical cord after welcoming their new infant in the middle of the street.
When David and Sarah Rose Patrick arrived at Baptist Health Louisville to give birth after 2 a.m. on May 9, the couple attempted to enter the labor and delivery facility — only to find the doors locked.
“They don’t open, and we can’t get in,” David tells Yahoo Life. “The lights are dim, and there’s not even a custodian, nothing. We are completely blown away, especially since our doctor said this is where you need to come back.”
When the couple failed to find a different open entrance, they determined they would have to drive over to the emergency room. But when Sarah Rose’s contractions began to come on more frequently and aggressively, it became clear they wouldn’t make it.
“We make it within view of our car back in front of labor and delivery, and we’re walking in the middle of the street toward to the car when my wife stops abruptly, bends over to use me as a crutch and says, ‘my water just broke,’” says David. “She nearly collapses. I hold her, she lays herself down flat and is now in the fetal position.”
David pulled out his cell phone and called 911, and asked the dispatcher to send someone out from labor and delivery immediately. Meanwhile, Sarah Rose’s pain only intensified.
“My wife, her groans crescendoed into these blood-curdling screams. People down the street could hear her,” adds David. “I see a trail of blood from where she’s lying down going to the nearest storm drain.”
When the dispatcher told David to take his wife’s pants off, Sarah Rose initially resisted.
“Just to reiterate, we’re in the middle of street,” says David, who was quick to follow the dispatcher’s instructions. “I said, ‘Honey, the pants are coming off.’”
Soon, Sarah Rose could feel their son’s head emerging.
“Once I pull back her pants, I see the top of our son’s head,” says David. “His head just pops out, I see his face and everything. Then in another 10 seconds or so, the rest of his body just slid out like a wet fish.” David caught the baby and wrapped him in his jacket.
“As soon as I saw him outside, my immediate concern was I didn’t want him to be cold!” Sarah Rose tells Yahoo Life. “I thought, what can I do to comfort him, and pulled him up to my nipples so he could get close. This is the last way I wanted my son to enter the world, and I was trying to give him what ounce of comfort I could give him. Luckily he took to that.”
Next, the dispatcher told David to find something to bind the umbilical cord. Without anything on hand, David rifled through their hospital bag.
“My wife and I are wearing our COVID-19 masks that my grandmother has hand-sewn from cotton, and I’ve still got my mask on,” says David. “My wife takes hers off and says, ‘Use this.’ I rolled it up real tight like a tortilla, and I do the best I can to tie a knot on the umbilical cord six inches from my son’s navel.”
Soon an ambulance arrived, and nurses and doctors emerged from the labor and delivery entrance to wheel Sarah Rose upstairs to complete her delivery.
“Once we got inside, everything was business as usual,” says David. “The nurses and doctors were great.”
Later, the hospital’s director of security ensured the Patrick family that they would use the experience to improve building protocols.
“It would have been nice to get some closure, but as long as they’ve got measures in place to prevent this from happening again, that at least is a win to us,” he says.. “Besides the fact that our child is extremely healthy and happy, and we're all safe.”
The couple named their son Navi, a nod to the Hebrew word for “prophet,” but also drawing from the fairy Navi in the popular Legend of Zelda video game franchise. His middle name is Bond.
“After James Bond,” the proud dad notes. “After his grand entrance, we think he's living up to the name. We’re calling him Baby Bond.”
In a statement to Yahoo Life, a spokesperson for Baptist Health Louisville said there is an intercom system for access after hours, and emergency room doors are never closed.
“Patients who come to Baptist Health Louisville, who are pregnant and in labor, can always enter the hospital in the middle of the night through the Emergency Room or enter through the entrance to the Labor and Delivery department which is located in the front of the building at 3900 Kresge Way,” the hospital representative told Yahoo. “Both entrances have signage and both entrances are open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Other entrances to the hospital are closed after 7 p.m. until 5 a.m.”
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