Teenager’s surreal experience delivering baby Heath

Heath Patterson
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Saturday was a day that will not be forgotten for 17-year-old Scalloway girl Samantha Gray as she became an unexpected midwife for her neighbour.

Stephanie Mackenzie, from End­a­voe, went into labour in the morn­ing and sent for help from nearby neighbour Cindy Gray, Samantha’s mother.

While Cindy was getting ready Samantha went across to assist and found herself delivering Stephanie’s baby right at that moment. She described the events as “completely surreal” and was overcome with emotion afterwards.

Heath William Patterson was suc­cessfully delivered just before 9.30am on the bathroom floor, weighing in at 6lb 11oz. He is a brother to Aidan, aged five, who was also present.

Stephanie said: “I don’t know what I would have done if Samantha hadn’t been there – it would have been Aidan delivering the baby.”

On the memorable day Stephanie was woken at 7.30am by Aidan who had a bleeding ear. While waiting for someone to take them to the hos­pital to check on this, she had her first contraction at 9am.

Soon after she asked her son to summon help. She said: “I sent Aidan over to Cindy’s to get Sam­antha. He thought I was sending him because we needed a plumber when I said my waters had broken.

“I got to the toilet and the head was there. Two pushes and he was out!”

Samantha arrived as this was happening. She said: “I came over. Mum was supposed to be getting the car ready and I thought we’d get Stephanie to the hospital in time, but obviously we weren’t quick enough.

“I was outside trying to get hold of Stephanie’s mum, but I didn’t even get the chance to hang up the phone as Stephanie said ‘the baby’s coming’.”

Confirming that, Stephanie said her mum had a voicemail of her daughter’s in the background saying: “It’s a boy!”

Samantha said: “It was pretty dream-like. My brain wasn’t able to process it. I was pretty shakey to be honest.”

Stephanie said: “She did do pretty well though. Samantha was absol­utely brilliant.”

Heath’s father Brian Patterson was told on the phone by Samantha to “get out here” as the events took place. By his own admission, finish­ed his cup of coffee before heading out and was completely surprised by the sudden birth.

He said: “It was all done. I thought I had time. It was a hell of a shock. It took about 12 hours to sink in. I’m very relieved that Samantha was there.”

Aidan is also delighted at the arrival of his new baby brother, and happily recalled his first impression of the newborn crying. “It hurted my ears,” he said.

He busied himself by going around to fetch more neighbours while they were waiting for the ambulance, saying: “Come and see mam on the bathroom floor, she’s had a baby!”

Mark Burgess


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