New son can’t wait: Granby mom gives birth en route to hospital
August 25, 2010
A Granby mother gave birth to her third child in an ambulance at mile marker 128 on Highway 9.
“It was a really fast labor,” said Adala Sanders, of Granby, mother of healthy 6-pound, 8-ounce, 20-inches long Ethan Aaron Michael Sanders, born the night of Aug. 21 on the way to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center.
Adala Sanders was in labor for just under a total of three hours, she said.
Upon Sanders going into labor, her sister drove her to the Granby Medical Center emergency room, where the on-call doctor was prepared to deliver her baby, she said. Contractions were already at three minutes apart.
But since the medical center does not have a high level of neo-natal intensive care, Sanders said she opted to try to get to Summit County.
“If something happened to my son during delivery, they would have had to rush him away anyway,” she said. “We thought we had time to make it over there, and obviously we did not.”
Medical facilities in Grand County are equipped to deliver babies only in emergencies.
Since OB hospitals are nearly two hours away in travel time, Grand County’s ambulance technicians are trained to deliver babies and provide basic neo-natal care, according to Audrey Jennings, the county’s EMS training coordinator.
During the past six years, Grand County EMS has transported many women in labor to hospitals in Denver, Routt and Summit counties, but only a handful have been delivered at hospital facilities in Grand County, Jennings said.
And only three babies in the past six years have been delivered by local police or paramedics, she said. One delivery took place at the Winter Park McDonald’s a couple of years ago, another on the way to Denver at the juncture of Sixth Avenue and I-70, and now little Ethan, born outside Kremmling two miles north of the county line.
Paramedic Joe Navarro delivered Sanders’ son en-route, with EMT Shannon McGill at the wheel. EMTs Tamra Russell and James Protsman were also assisting in the ambulance.
“We always send extra (EMTs) along in case something happens,” Jennings said, “because once you deliver a baby, you have two patients, not just one.”
Ethan was born at 10:41 p.m. Emergency personnel pulled over the ambulance in time to cut the umbilical cord, Sanders said.
She and her newborn were then transported the rest of the way to Summit without complications.
Sanders was back home in Granby the following day.
For EMTs, such an experience can be very rewarding, Jennings said.
“We help people in the worst times and the best times of people’s lives.”