Heather Wilson’s son may not know it, but he has one heck of a birth story.
While most kids are born in a hospital, his first exposure to the world was a West Liberty IGA parking lot.
“I was 36 weeks that day,” Wilson said. “I had been having Braxton Hicks [contractions] up until that point.”
Though a parking lot is not the most ideal place to have a baby, Wilson said she didn’t have a choice. Her son was coming whether she was ready or not.
Luckily, Chris Stafford, an off-duty volunteer EMT, was passing by the same parking lot right when Heather and her boyfriend, Tim Jones pulled in.
He could tell something was wrong and jumped in to help.
“It really went so fast,” Stafford said. “I didn’t have a chance to think about it much other than that people are in distress and needed help. That’s why I got into this profession — to help those in need.”
Less than two minutes later, two other on-duty EMTs arrived to wrap up delivery and take Wilson and her newborn baby to the hospital. One of them was Stafford’s mom, Teresa Yoder.
“A lot of times, what we see is ugly so you kind of expect it,” said Teresa Yoder. “But it was a really nice, happy story.”
The other EMT, Josh Keller, said it was his first time helping with a delivery.
“I don’t have any children,” he said. “I’m a single guy, so seeing that gives me a whole new perspective and a whole new appreciation for it.”
Safe at the hospital, Wilson and her boyfriend Tim decided on a name for the newborn: Christian, named in part after the EMT who Wilson said is their hero.
“Even by naming my son after him, I still don’t feel like that’s enough to show him how much we appreciate what he did for us,” she said.
She said she’s grateful for all members of the EMS working that night who helped to bring her son into the world.