All in the family: Cora Turnbull, RN, paramedic; Ashley, mother, holding baby Aurora; and Chris, Ashley’s brother.

A Texas County Memorial Hospital’s paramedic received gratitude and appreciation from an area resident for the vital role she played in delivering her baby girl.    

On Friday, May 13, Cora Turnbull, a RN paramedic, delivered her first baby. She works out of the TCMH Cabool ambulance base and stepped up in a big way to assist the mother-to-be, who was 37 weeks pregnant and in labor in the back seat of her brother’s car.

“It was about four o’clock in the morning and Ashley was in hard labor,” Chris, Ashley’s brother, said. “My wife and I put Ashley in the back seat of my car to get her to the nearest help possible.”

Her brother explained that Ashley was in excruciating pain, so he stopped at the local police station to try and get immediate help.  He told the police officers that his sister was having a baby.  They went to the vehicle and by this time there was already a visible set of legs.  The police department called in all available first responders, which included Cora and her partner, Steve Wilkins, TCMH EMT.

“Not only was the baby coming, but it was the wrong way with feet first,” her brother said. “About that time, Cora came in like a whirlwind and jumped into the back seat of the car with my sister.”

Cora Turnbull, RN, paramedic, holding baby Aurora.

He said Turnbull took over the situation once she realized the baby was breached as there was not time to get her to the hospital.

“We originally were going to try and move her to the stretcher even with the legs out due to the severity of the situation,” Turnbull said. “However, before we could get her moved, the buttocks came out.”

She explained at that point, she knew there wasn’t another option, and she had to get the baby out quickly. She said it took extra effort to get the shoulders delivered, as you must be extra careful with a breached delivery to not harm the baby when maneuvering.

Turnbull successfully delivered the baby safely at 4:26 a.m. with several other first responders standing by.  “To hear that little cry was incredible and such a relief,” Turnbull said.

Dr. Tricia Benoist, family medicine and obstetrics physician at TCMH, was on call and at the hospital waiting to examine the new mother and baby. 

Aurora Lux weighed in at 6 lbs. 2 oz., 18 inches long and a healthy, beautiful baby girl.

“I am so proud of Cora with this being the first baby she has ever delivered and then a breached baby on top of it,” Dr. Benoist said. “Breached babies are not easy to deliver and are usually delivered by caesarean delivery for a better outcome, which makes me even more proud of her.”

Ashley expressed her gratefulness to Turnbull with a warm embrace. “I am really thankful that you saved both mine and my daughter’s life,” Ashley said. “I am beyond appreciative for you.”

“It was the worst possible situation with the absolute best possible conclusion,” the brother said. “Cora is a true superhero.”

The baby’s mother embraces with Cora Turnbull, paramedic, after the medical worker helped deliver the infant.

“It was my pleasure to be able to help Ashley deliver Aurora safely,” Turnbull said. “I am just so glad that there were no problems, and everything turned out so well.”

Delivering a baby is something you are trained on in school, however most paramedics never have a situation arise that requires them to use these skills to bring a new life into this world safely. 

“I have been in EMS for 32 years and never delivered a baby,” Bill Bridges, director of EMS, said. “I am very proud of Cora and Steve for their quick responsiveness to a serious situation.”

Bridges explained that paramedics and EMT’s handle all patients from the brand new to the very last.  They are the first on the scene in most cases and must follow the proper protocols. As a first responder to any situation, the top priority should be to preserve life and that is exactly what Turnbull did, he said.

“This is an experience that I will never forget,” Turnball remarked. “To be able to bring a life into this world, it’s absolutely amazing.”

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