BREMERTON, Wash. — Little Eleanor Rogers came into the world on Highway 307 amidst one of worst snowstorms in recent memory. She came into the world a healthy 8 pounds, 2 ounces, 21 inches. She came into the world to whoops and tears. She came into the world . in the back of an ambulance surrounded by grinning, weepy-eyed North Kitsap Fire and Rescue paramedics.
Eleanor returned to see some of her first acquaintances at North Kitsap’s Fire Station 81 on Feb. 6, her first birthday, the anniversary of her perilous journey to the hospital. Just like that early morning a year ago, smiles reigned.
“She,” said mom Lakeisha, holding her lively Eleanor, “is very happy and healthy.”
A year ago the Rogers family was at home in Little Boston, anxiously awaiting Eleanor’s arrival. They’d been to the hospital earlier in the day but had been sent home. At around midnight, it became quite clear that the baby’s time had come as Lakeisha’s water broke.
With several inches of snow on the ground, Lakeisha and dad Ronald called 911. They hoped desperately to find a safe way to the hospital, one that would mean their newborn coming into the world somewhere other than their living room carpet.
Medic 81 arrived soon and loaded up Lakeisha for the snowy drive to Harrison Medical Center in Silverdale.
Because of the 6-8 inches of snow that had fallen during the night, North Kitsap Fire & Rescue Lt. Mark Cooney said he took the drive cautiously, never daring to pick up much speed for fear of sliding off the road.
“We made it halfway,” said paramedic Craig Barnard. “Right in front of Valley Nursery in Poulsbo, baby Eleanor came into this world.”
Just a few dozen feet from the Highway 305-307 intersection, Cooney got word from the back of the ambulance that the baby was ready to meet the world. He pulled off to the side of the road, while mom and the paramedics did the rest.
Enter Eleanor, no complications, no problems at all.
“It was a blessing to see her come out pink and healthy and breathing,” said Brandon Davidson, another of the paramedics. “When she cried, we all just leapt up in joy. It was a very special moment, a very special night.”
Medic 81 soon made the joyous call to Kitsap 911, Kitsap County’s central dispatching agency, that they would be transporting two patients to the hospital.
A year later, Eleanor is on the verge of taking her first steps on her own. She’s energetic, she wears purple and has a blanket commemorating her opening scene as an ambulance baby.
“The EMTs and everyone here and the lady that answered the phone for 911, knows what they’re doing,” Lakeisha said, thankful. “Everyone did great.”
“It feels right,” she said of celebrating at the fire station. “They helped bring her in a year ago, they deserve some cake for a year later.”
Information from: Kitsap Sun, http://www.kitsapsun.com/