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Baby changes ambulance woman's life

PUBLISHED: 10:11 20 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:39 03 July 2010

THE arrival into the world of little Evangeline was not just momentous for her parents - it was a defining moment in the life of the ambulance woman who delivered her.

THE arrival into the world of little Evangeline was not just momentous for her parents - it was a defining moment in the life of the ambulance woman who delivered her.

For after 10 years with the East of England Ambulance Service, Lorraine Butcher, 46, had been left pondering on whether the job was still worth it after a terrifying encounter during one 999 call.

But after safely delivering 9lb 7oz Evangeline - who came in such a rush that her mum ended up giving birth in their downstairs toilet - Ms Butcher confessed she was still on a high on Wednesday as she met up with proud parents Lucy and Keith Forman for the first time since the drama unfolded on February 17.

She recalled she had been working by herself when she was threatened with the crossbow by a man with mental health problems in Yarmouth in November and only escaped by “running away very quickly”.

“You are left wondering why you take such risks. Lots of thoughts go through your head. But then you get little prizes like this,” she said, smiling broadly as she cradled Evangeline once more.

Mr Forman, 26, an Openreach telephone engineer, said: “Lucy's contractions had started at 9am on that Sunday but the midwives at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital assured us we had ages to wait and we even took our seven-year-old Joshua to play rugby in the morning.”

Even when her waters broke at 3.30pm, they did not think there was any rush as her contractions were still 20 minutes apart and the midwives told them to come into hospital from their home in Old Road, Acle, in their own time.

He said: “We had just got into out Honda Civic and were about to pull off the drive when Lucy said she needed to push. That was only two minutes after her waters broke.”

Taking up the story, Mrs Forman, 25, said: “Going back indoors I went into the toilet as the first place in the house we came to. I was not going to make it upstairs.”

She recalled there was no panic but her emotion was one of disbelief that she was going to end up giving birth at home.

While Joshua kept watch for the ambulance from his bedroom window, Mr Forman gave a running commentary on the phone to the hospital midwives.

He confessed he was immensely relieved to see Ms Butcher and her paramedic team leader Nick Todd walk through the door as the baby's head was appearing.

Presenting Mrs Forman with flowers, Ms Butcher said: “It was such a rush we only introduced ourselves properly to Dad and Mum after the delivery.

“Lucy was on all fours in their downstairs cloakroom. It was a very small space in which to work and once the baby's head appeared we realised the chord was wrapped around her neck, not once but twice.”

She recalled it was a delicate situation - especially for her first delivery - but with help over the telephone from midwives and support from her colleague they succeeded in safely untangling her.

She said: “It is one call I will never forget and one of the best during my career with the ambulance service.”

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