Couple gives thanks to EMT who delivered baby unexpectedly-early

Nov 26, 2022, 12:58 PM | Updated: Nov 28, 2022, 2:04 pm

EPHRAIM, Utah — A couple is giving thanks this week to the emergency medical crew that helped when the miracle of birth came early.

Mikaella and Preston Clark were hoping to make it to Utah Valley Hospital on Aug. 17 to give birth via VBAC, a vaginal delivery of a baby after a previous pregnancy was delivered by cesarean delivery, to Charlie, when it appeared Charlie didn’t want to wait.

“Contractions went from about 14 minutes apart to 2 minutes apart within that hour—way faster than my other labors,” Mikaella recalled of that morning in an interview with KSL 5. “I was like, ‘we are not going to make it!’”

She moved to the bathroom floor and braced for birth.

Preston called 911. An EMT who lived nearby was first to arrive.

“I’m like, are you the ones looking for an ambulance?” Penny Fullmer said.

At the time Fullmer pulled up, Mikaella said Charlie was already crowning.

“Three pushes, (umbilical) cord was wrapped around her neck,” Mikaella said.

Fullmer knew she had to step in and act quickly and carefully and defaulted to her training.

“When I reached in and found that cord and realized it was wrapped quite tightly, and I thought in my mind, ‘oh, which way does it go over the head?’” Fullmer said. “You just kind of have to kind of grip and hold on and go, ‘okay, I hope this is the right way’ and it was!”

She grew emotional during a recent event at Intermountain Healthcare’s Sanpete Valley Hospital in Mount Pleasant in which Fullmer and fellow EMS team members Stephen Herbert and Denise Durtschi were honored for excellence in their efforts, which included swiftly loading up mom and baby into an ambulance and rushing them to the hospital for additional check-up and care.

“I honestly felt so guided in every step of the way,” Fullmer said. “I can’t say that enough!”

Mikaella, Preston and baby Charlie were present for the hospital’s “extraordinary save” event and challenge coin presentation and extended their deepest appreciation. Mikaella, an emergency dispatcher, was extra grateful Fullmer was only a couple blocks away when her husband placed the call to 911.

“(Penny) did an awesome job of controlling the situation,” Preston said. “She was able to get the cord unwrapped and it was, like, a lifesaver for me because I honestly think I would have tried my best but I know I would have panicked seeing that and she was able to keep things under control and I’m just so thankful she was able to get there when she did.”

Mikaella also said it was great how well the EMS crew performed at an urgent time.

“It turned out perfectly,” Mikaella said.

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Couple gives thanks to EMT who delivered baby unexpectedly-early