A receptionist has been hailed a hero after she saved the life of a baby boy she helped deliver in a hotel car park. Karen Dyass, 46, sprang into action when Heather McSharry’s waters broke outside a Travelodge. She and Heather’s husband Matthew brought Michael into the world as paramedics talked them through the delivery from the other end of the line.
But as the new-born emerged, Karen spotted he wasn’t breathing or crying. As paramedics guided her through the process, cleared Michael’s airways. Karen then used Matthew’s shoelaces to tie the snapped umbilical cord back together. Heather, who named their baby after passer-by Michael Falconer who ran into the hotel to get help, said: “I cannot thank Karen and Michael enough for what they did for me and my family. Karen helped me deliver our baby and for that I will be eternally grateful.”
“When baby Michael was born he wasn’t crying and Karen’s immediately took charge and cleared his airways so he could breathe. Karen just stepped in and took control of a very difficult and scary situation. I cannot begin to imagine what would have happened if Karen was not there.”
Karen said: “I was just coming to the end of my shift and was totally taken aback when a man ran into the hotel asking for help, he said there was a pregnant woman outside who was in labour. Being a mum of two children, I know what a scary situation this is, so I immediately told a colleague to take over the reception desk and I grabbed a stack of fresh towels and ran outside.”
“Heather was very scared and totally stressed out when I arrived at the scene but a few breathing exercises and lots of calm soothing words later – Heather was a little relaxed and in full labour.
“I was so scared too as I had never delivered a baby and didn’t really know what to do but I just stepped up and made keeping Heather comfortable a priority. It’s an amazing and remarkable feeling delivering a baby and very scary when he was not initially crying. My instinct just kicked in and I knew I had to do whatever it takes to save this baby. I was so relieved when he started to cry.”