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The quick action of IU Health police officers made for a smooth and safe delivery of a beautiful, bouncing baby boy – who chose to come pretty darn fast.
It was about 9 p.m. when police officer Latrice Johnson heard a call come over her radio. A woman was in the B lobby of IU Health Methodist Hospital and she was in labor.
No big deal. It is a hospital, after all. And Methodist has a robust labor and delivery department.
“It’s pretty normal to hear that,” says Johnson, who has been an officer with IU Health four years. “What we want to do is make sure they are OK, get a wheelchair and wheel them up to labor and delivery -- try to get them up there as soon as possible.”
So, on that night of April 10, Johnson called police officer Kris Hardiman to bring a wheelchair. But, the closer Johnson got to the woman, the more she couldn’t believe her eyes.
“I saw the baby was coming,” says Johnson, “like the baby was coming out.”
Her instincts kicked in. The woman was shaking and crying and she needed to lie down quickly. Johnson urged her to do just that. She helped her to the nearest bench, which happened to be in the waiting area of the Palm Tree lobby.
About that time, Sergeant Rex Stonecipher came rushing in. He stayed with the woman while Johnson ran up to get labor and delivery staff.
What happened next?
“Well, then the baby came,” says Sgt. Stonecipher, who helped deliver the baby boy and put him on mom’s chest. Side note: This is the third baby Stonecipher has delivered in his 13 years at IU Health. Both officers Hartiman and Jonathan Rochez were there by mom’s side, as well.
Meanwhile, upstairs, Johnson was excitedly telling the doctors and nurses in labor and delivery what was going on downstairs.
“It was so amazing how they already knew,” says Johnson, who is the mother of four children, ages 2, 5, 7 and 9. “They were on it.”
Of course, by the time the crew got downstairs, baby was already on mom’s chest.
“That was definitely one of the more heartwarming things I’ve been through,” Johnson says. “You saw how the staff cares. You saw how everybody just cares and how they sprung into action. You saw doctors and nurses and everybody come together to make sure everything was OK.”
Two weeks later, mom and baby are doing great. All four officers say that what they did wasn’t a big deal, that it’s all in a day’s work.
We say they’re wrong. Thanks to all IU Health officers for their dedication and service to our hospitals.
-- By Dana Benbow, Senior Journalist at IU Health.
Reach Benbow via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @danabenbow.