LISTEN: Emergency call handler saves baby's life over the phone

Call handler Joanne Shepherd was able to give advice over the phone until our paramedic Amanda Bird arrived
Call handler Joanne Shepherd was able to give advice over the phone until our paramedic Amanda Bird arrived

An East Midlands paramedic and emergency call handler who saved a baby’s life when she was born with the umbilical cord around her neck have been reunited with the family to celebrate her first birthday.

Michelle Barber, 33, and her husband, Rob, had been trying to have a baby for several years and eventually conceived Ella through IVF.

Despite it being her first baby, when Michelle went into labour at their home in Long Eaton on the morning of 15th August, it became clear that she would not have time to get to hospital to give birth so her sister Joanne Lambert rang 999.

Sadly, baby Ella was not breathing when she was born at 8.24am and had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck.

Thankfully, emergency call handler Joanne Shepherd was able to give advice over the phone until our paramedic Amanda Bird arrived and used a resuscitation bag to save Ella’s life.

Michelle said: "I thought I was going to lose her when she came out. And then I saw Amanda coming up the drive and I just thought, thank God. They saved Ella's life."

Call handler Joanne Shepherd was able to give advice over the phone until our paramedic Amanda Bird arrived

Call handler Joanne Shepherd was able to give advice over the phone until our paramedic Amanda Bird arrived

To celebrate her first birthday, Ella, Michelle, Rob and Michelle's sister Joanne, were reunited with paramedic Amanda and emergency call handler Joanne for the first time since Ella was born.

Paramedic Amanda Bird, based at Raynesway Ambulance Station in Derby, explained that without immediate medical attention, Ella would not be celebrating her first birthday.

She said: “When I walked through the front door and saw Ella wasn’t breathing, I dropped everything I was carrying and ran back to the ambulance car to get the resuscitation bag.

“I gave her three breaths using the bag and suddenly she pinked up and started breathing for herself.

Call handler Joanne Shepherd was able to give advice over the phone until our paramedic Amanda Bird arrived

Call handler Joanne Shepherd was able to give advice over the phone until our paramedic Amanda Bird arrived

“It was an amazing moment when she took that first breath."

Paramedic Rachel May and Technician George Bugg arrived in an ambulance later to take Michelle and Ella to Queen’s Medical Centre to be checked out.

Michelle said that it was lovely to see her daughter's lifesavers again and for them to be part of Ella's first birthday.