Independence first responders meet baby boy they helped deliver

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – An Independence mom was reunited Monday with emergency workers who helped her during a difficult delivery.

Jacqueline Riley, 27, was scheduled to have a C-section on Sept. 21 after learning her baby boy, Shay, was in a breech position, meaning he was poised to come out feet first.

“My water broke, and when I went to grab some towels to clean up, I realized he was already coming,” Riley recalled.

She was at home at the time, and her husband immediately called 911. A crew from Independence Fire Station One and paramedics with American Medical Response answered the call.

“We were kind of thinking it was going to be one of those routine calls where we show up, get vital signs and help package up mom for transport to hospital. But once we arrived on scene, it was very obvious we were going to deliver right there on the scene,” firefighter Cole Sammons said.

Shay was coming feet-first and -- even scarier — the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck.

“Usually with a normal birth, by the time the shoulders are out the rest of the body just comes,” paramedic Dave McGee said. “With this, baby Shay’s head got stuck, and we had a hard time getting him out.”

While firefighters and paramedics carefully worked to deliver Shay, Riley feared the worst.

“I wasn’t optimistic at all,” Riley said. “I was pretty panicked because I had done my research on breech babies and knew there was a reason hospital don’t deliver breech babies."

After about 15 minutes, Shay made his entrance into the world weighing 8 pounds and 1 ounce. He was rushed to the hospital where he eventually gained full health.

“The fact that they were able to get him out and he survived and is fine, and they did everything for me as well -- I can’t express how grateful we are,” Riley said.

On Monday, Riley and her husband, Jonathan, introduced Shay to the men and women who helped deliver him.

“I don’t think I can say thanks enough,” Riley told the first responders. “You guys were incredible.”

“You all are truly heroes and Shay will definitely know this story when he grows up,” her husband added.