Phone hero Sarah meets mum she guided through birth

From top left: Dave Griss, Joanne, Pickles, John Pickles, Layton Griss. Front from left: Hayley Thompson, Lexi Griss and Sarah Unsworth (s)
From top left: Dave Griss, Joanne, Pickles, John Pickles, Layton Griss. Front from left: Hayley Thompson, Lexi Griss and Sarah Unsworth (s)

A North West Ambulance Service call handler has been praised at a reunion with a family after supporting the birth of their baby girl over the phone.

In what was a very quick birth on February 29th, Hayley Thompson went into labour at her home in Colne.

Her partner, Dave Griss, and his mother Joanne Pickles were there at the time and phoned for an ambulance as soon as Hayley’s contractions started.

Dave called 999 and was put through to NWAS Emergency Medical Despatcher Sarah Unsworth, who was not a novice at these types of calls having supported two births previously.

Taking charge of the situation Sarah calmed everyone down and talked them through exactly what they needed to do.

Just minutes after Sarah received the call Hayley had given birth to Lexi.

Speaking at the reunion at the Trust’s Lancashire Control Centre in Broughton, Hayley said: “At the time it was really scary and everyone was panicking.

“As soon as Sarah came on the phone she really calmed us down and told us an ambulance was on its way.

“After that everything was so quick, I nearly gave birth to my first child Layton in the back of an ambulance almost four years ago, but Lexi arrived just before the crew got to the house. Sarah was absolutely fantastic and it was because of her calm nature and clear instructions that everything went so well – a big thank you to her for being so amazing!”

Sarah Unsworth, who was presented with flowers by Hayley at the reunion, said: “It’s really nice to be able to meet the family and especially little Lexi.

“She’s such a beautiful baby and it’s really kind of the whole family to come down here to personally thank me. I really enjoy my job and playing a part in helping people every day – it makes it even more special when you get such a special thank you.”