Hospice staff helps with delivery of baby

"THIS baby girl will not die, not today and not with me near, she will live," were the words of Chris Nel, retail supervisor of Stepping Stone Hospice's The Charity Shop.

Stepping Stone Hospice's ethos, "You are Not Alone," have yet again been demonstrated by the quick action of the charity shop's team when a mother gave birth on the pavement in front of the shop along Fore Street in New Redruth.

On January 31, at around 11am, Chris saw a woman in the middle of Fore Street climbing out of a truck and on her knees. The next moment he saw water and blood, and he knew something was wrong.

"I rushed over to the woman to help and when I got to her, her baby just seemed to drop out," he said. Before he rushed to her, he called his colleagues in the store to help.

Chris's experience as a first aider level three, came in handy as he helped the mother, Felda Ngubeni (39), and helped the baby to start breathing. "I just saw that the baby was very grey and I noticed she was not breathing. The baby stopped breathing about seven times, four times while she was with Chris and three times in the ambulance.

Maria Mofokeng from Rabie Deysel Inc Auditors came to help the mother with the after birth. Maria gave her a bottle to blow on to finally also get the after birth out.

"This is the first time I helped at birth, and while there were a few tense moments before the ambulance arrived with the little one stop breathing and I having to resuscitate her, I can honestly say that this was an incredibly humbling experience. This is a little soul that God placed in my hands and I did what I could," said Chris.

Brenda Peach, retail manager, made sure the mother was comfortable while Chris and the paramedics from Medhelp and National Paramedical Services cared for the baby.

"There was a moment before the paramedics arrived when I told Chris that the baby was not going to make it, but he was so focused on the baby and said not today, the baby will not die today," said Brenda.

"I want to thank my amazing team for standing together and helping. With the kind of work we do and the kind of organisation we work for, we have another view of value of life," Brenda said.

Both Felda and the baby were taken to the Clinton Hospital where they were stabilised.

According to Felda's brother-in-law, Simon Sithole, both the mother and the baby were doing well. They have been transferred to a hospital in Germiston.

"We as a family just want to thank my brother, Chris, and everyone who helped. We are forever grateful," said Simon.

"This was not about the birth, it was about saving a life," Brenda concluded.

Caption: Chris Nel, retail supervisor, relieved that all went well with the "unexpected delivery" outside the charity shop in Fore Street.

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