‘What they did will never be forgotten’ – Mum thanks ambulance crew after baby Ashley makes early arrival at Royston train station

Alistair Theobald, Darren Southam, Laura Tunbridge, Katherine Rataj, and Michelle and Ashley Bellham

Alistair Theobald, Darren Southam, Laura Tunbridge, Katherine Rataj, and Michelle and Ashley Bellham. - Credit: Archant

A mum from Royston has thanked the ambulance staff who came to her son’s rescue after she gave birth almost 12 weeks early while waiting for a train.

Michelle Bellham, 35, was only 28 weeks pregnant when she went into labour on in July waiting to catch the train to Cambridge at Royston for an appointment at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

“I’d been to hospital the day before as I’d felt pains but the test results came back negative which we thought meant I wasn’t in labour.

“I had pushing feelings on the way to the train station but because of the results I didn’t think it was as serious.”

Staff called 999 and a crew made up of paramedic Darren Southam and emergency medical technician – supported by Laura Tunbridge. Katherine Rataj, Alistair Theobald, Ann Casey, and Tim Hill from the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust – rushed to the scene.


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“Once we learnt that it was a pregnancy incident and knowing how early Michelle was, a lot of different situations ran through my mind,” said Darren.

“But Laura and I developed a plan to ensure everything would run as smoothly as possible.”

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Baby Ashley was born weighing just 2lbs 13oz and wasn’t breathing.

Darren, who has now delivered seven babies, said: “He needed some stimulation so I wiped him down a couple of times and fortunately after a few squeezes of the bag valve mask, he was able to breathe by himself.”

Both Ashley and Michelle were taken to Addenbrooke’s where he stayed for a week and half before being transferred to Lister Hospital in Stevenage, and was finally discharged last month.

On Friday, a day after World Prematurity Day, Michelle and Ashley were reunited with Darren, Laura, Katherine and Alistair under much happier circumstances.

“I can’t thank them enough for helping us,” said Michelle.

“I knew at that moment that it was life or death, and what they all did on that day will never be forgotten.”

Katherine said: “We don’t get many jobs like this but to hold him in my arms now makes it all worth it – this is why we do this for a living.”

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