Woman thanks NHS staff after giving birth in supermarket car park

An ambulance failed to stop because the driver thought the father was cheering them on for working through the Covid-19 crisis.

A teacher has described how she gave birth to her baby son in a supermarket car park after an ambulance failed to stop because the driver thought the baby’s father was just cheering them on.

Hannah Howells and husband Andy, from Hamble, Hampshire, were driving to the Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton on April 19 when she realised they were not going to arrive in time.

They pulled over in their Volvo 4×4 into a Sainsbury’s Local car park, where Mr Howells attempted to wave down the passing ambulance.

After contacting ambulance control, Mr Howells helped deliver baby Wilf, who weighed 6lbs 7oz, and the same ambulance that had passed them earlier returned and the paramedics helped take mother and child to hospital to be checked over.

Hannah and Andy Howells with baby Wilf (Family handout/PA)

The parents and baby returned home the same day to their other son, Theo, three, who was being looked after by his grandparents.

Mrs Howells, 33, said: “It’s all been an absolute whirlwind and we feel like we’re in a bubble. It’s so surreal.

“We were probably 10 minutes into our journey and I said to my husband, ‘The baby is coming right now’.

“We saw an ambulance coming in the other direction. Andy was trying to wave, but they quite rightly thought we were clapping for the amazing work they’re doing.

“We parked up and called the Labour Line and then 999 and the amazing lady who took the call talked my husband through delivering our baby. Wilf was already halfway out on the front seat of the car and I still had my seat belt on.

“People kindly offered help, the paramedics arrived, the store manager closed the car park and offered us anything we needed and I was even given a bunch of flowers meant for somebody else.

“I’ll never forget hearing ‘congratulations, your baby was born at 10.47am’ down the phone. It was magical and everyone was incredible. People really rallied and it was such a special moment for us.

“Wilf is a trooper and incredibly calm. He’s chilled and super healthy. Theo has been an absolute star and is besotted with him. We’re all doing very well and we feel really lucky.”

Baby Wilf Howells (Family handout/PA)

Mr Howells, 37, said: “We want to say thank you to all those that helped us, including Kellie-Anne Blake, the 999 call handler who talked me through the delivery, the amazing paramedics, and Amber and her team at the Broadlands Birth Centre at Princess Anne Hospital, Southampton.

“We are in awe of those that are risking their own lives, and that of their families, to help people who need it. Thank you so much.”

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