Family reunites with ‘special delivery’ first responders
Watch the reunion on KMOV Channel 4.
Justin Bell, 7, and his family welcomed a special visit recently from Christian Hospital paramedics Jeremy Bell (no relation) and Tricia O’Laughlin, along with St. Louis County Police Officer Bob Rinck, to celebrate Justin’s homebirth seven years ago. O’Laughlin delivered Justin at his home on Dec. 17, 2009, with the help of fellow paramedic Jeremy, Justin’s paternal grandmother Linda Bell, Officer Rinck and four Black Jack Fire Protection District firefighters.
“They saved our lives,” says Dorothy Bell, Justin’s mother. “I was sent home the day before (from another hospital) and told I wasn’t in labor yet, but I think I really was. I had group B strep at the time and it was risky to deliver without an antibiotic drip. I was told that I had to deliver my son as soon as possible or else he would stop breathing. The Christian team was so good to me. They took charge immediately. They were calming, for what was as a very scary experience.”
“When we arrived on the scene in response to the 9-1-1 call we immediately realized that we had to deliver the baby right then and there,” recalls O’Laughlin. “The fire department wasn’t sure what was going on because the amniotic sac had not ruptured. So with the help of Dorothy’s mother-in-law I ruptured the sac and with two good pushes out came Justin! Calls of this nature make us enjoy our job and it’s very heartwarming when patients like this stay in touch with us.”
Justin’s mom is proud to report that he’s a healthy, happy and intelligent 7-year-old who excels in school as a first grader and just achieved his red belt status in martial arts – just two levels away from becoming a black belt!
“The outcome could have been much different on that December day seven years ago,” says Dorothy. “If it weren’t for the urgency and respectfulness of the Christian Hospital paramedics, the policeman and the Black Jack Fire Dept., there’s no telling what would have happened that day. We are forever grateful. Justin now has a 4-year-old sister named Jasmine. The blessings continue to flow!”