Every year, approximately 15 million babies are born prematurely (before 37 completed weeks of gestation) And while many new moms are giving warning, sometimes these tiny babies arrived in the least convenient places. This was the case for baby Sadie. Not willing to wait, the tiny baby arrived 16 weeks early, but thankfully a neighbor was able to help, which ultimately saved the baby’s life.
Lauren Chapman was caught off guard when she went into early labor at 9 am on September 13th while at home with her husband David and their 15 month old daughter Isla.
“I was six months pregnant to the day and started going into labor unexpectedly,” she said. “My partner ran outside to get help and luckily found Steve. As soon as he came in he just took control, and thank God he did. It was so scary.”
She praised Steve Fox, their neighbor, for keeping them calm all through and saving their daughter that chaotic day.
Baby girl, Sadie, weighed only 500g at birth and was less than 20 cm in size at birth. Therefore, performing CPR wasn’t an easy task. However, while they were waiting for the paramedics to arrive, Steve, a firefighter by profession, not only carried out mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but he also gave Sadie chest compressions using his index finger to keep up her blood circulation.
Sadie was first taken by ambulance to Frimley Park Hospital and then she was transferred to St. Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey and later on to St. George’s Hospital in Tooting, London.
The challenges for the family however did not end there.
Doctors initially told the Chapmans that Sadie had less than 20% chances of surviving, but after five operations and several blood transfusions she came through, battling all odds.
After undergoing treatment at the hospital for five long months, Sadie has now recovered and has been reunited with her family, where a relieved Lauren welcomed her baby home.
Fox, who is married with two children, was celebrating his wedding anniversary on that eventful day. Recalling his actions he said he had only done what he was trained and expected to do.
“You almost switch off and naturally do it,” he said. “You fall into that role. The baby was almost still a fetus and was deceased when I arrived.”
“Even the doctors said they had to rip up the medical book. They thought she might be deaf but she’s not. The fact she has survived is absolutely amazing,” he added.
Lauren, however, considers Fox a hero and says that she owes her daughter’s life to him.
She said, “I owe him my daughter’s life. He has given me my world. He is an all-round decent guy who also volunteered in the Philippines. There should be more people like him.”
She added that her baby’s story would surely bring hope to other families who have a premature baby.