On the 11th of June a woman went into labour on a train in Ireland. Thankfully a brilliant doctor was on board and sprung into action when duty called. Hooray!
Dr Alan Devine was on the train, deeply immersed in some binge viewing, when things took an unexpected turn.
“I was watching Chernobyl on my iPad and I could hear some commotion going on, but I didn’t really know what it was,” Alan told The Irish Times. “We were stopped for about 10 minutes at Kildare when I paused my iPad to hear what was going on.”
Presumably, he’d had his headphones in up until this point and had only just realised that there was some kind of delay.
Next, a concerned woman sitting opposite Alan asked if he was a doctor and before he knew it he was deep in the throes of delivering a baby. Plot twist indeed.
“I could hear moaning so I asked the woman to mind my stuff and I ran up. The poor woman was there in the throes of labour. She was a young woman on her own.”
Thankfully commuters, Alan and rail staff sprung into action. They helped make the labouring woman as comfortable as possible.
“There was a lovely Irish woman named Ellen on the phone to the ambulance crew,” Alan recalls. “There was an Irish nurse helping her, and there was an American tourist in her seventies holding her hand and coaching her through the labour.”
The mother of invention
They snaffled some gloves from the catering cart and with the surprise support team in place, 30 minutes later the baby was born.
The little girl took a wee while to find her feet and start breathing properly. But once she let out a cry the entire carriage breathed easy too.
“Honestly, we all nearly cried as well because there was a lot of tension and stress,” Alan says. “Things calmed down then.”
Two minutes later an ambulance arrived and mum and baby were whisked away.
The train was delayed at Kildare for a total of 80 minutes before continuing its journey.
“We wish mother and daughter well,” an Irish Rail spokesman said.