‘This is a job that will live with me forever’: crew and family reunited after breech premature twins delivery

Imagine the scenario: you’re called to a woman who is pregnant with twins. She’s in confirmed labour. She’s three-months premature. And her babies are breech.

‘Normal’ maternity calls can be stressful, but this was the challenging reality for EEAST teams and East Anglian Air Ambulance colleagues when mum-to-be Sharon Barbouti –Payne called 999 for help back in September 2015.

This week we got to share Sharon’s story, which is tinged with happiness and sadness in equal measure, as she was reunited with the team who helped her on that fateful day.

Sharon was at a friend’s house in Ashill, Norfolk, when she unexpectedly went into labour.

Paramedic Laura Sercombe and Student Paramedic Sabrina Mann had to act quickly as the first clinicians on scene. Soon to arrive were paramedics Tanya Chenery, Anna Jeavons, and Luke Chamberlain; student paramedics Sharon Weeks and Andrew Smith; Duty Locality Officer Sharon Proctor; and Critical Care Paramedic Jemma Varela responding in the medical response car from the EAAA.

It was a team effort, and a life-saving battle, to help Sharon and her babies. She said: “The whole night was a bit of a blur, but I still remember the faces of everyone.”

At around 12.50am, baby Nadia was born weighing just 912 grams – less than a standard bag of sugar – followed by her brother, Toby.

All three were rushed off to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, but tragically, despite the valiant efforts of everyone involved, Toby passed away in the early hours of the morning.

But this hasn’t stopped Sharon and her family keeping in touch with the medical teams who did everything they could for her family. Sharon has kept in regular contact with the crews, and even sent them a ‘thank you’ cake on Nadia’s first birthday. And last Friday (10th March) Sharon and her husband Steve Payne finally got to say that thank you in person, as they and little Nadia were reunited with their life-saving team at Longwater station.

Sharon has nothing but praise for those involved, and said: “It’s lovely to thank them in person for saving Nadia; it means so much to us. Without them, she wouldn’t be here, they are our guardian angels.”

Speaking at the meet up, Tanya said: “This is a job that will live with me forever, everyone involved was fantastic on that day, it was such a difficult job but everyone worked their hardest and saved Nadia’s life.”

Laura added: “In 12 years working in the ambulance service, there are a handful of jobs that will stay with me, and this one is right at the top. It’s so pleasing to see both Sharon and Nadia doing so well.”

Published 16th March, 2017

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