PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A 911 dispatcher who helped deliver a baby over the phone and the paramedics who arrived shortly after met the mother and new baby on Thursday.
Jamelah Yoakum was 37 weeks pregnant when she went into labor while at home alone with her two daughters, ages 4 and 10. She had been to the hospital the night before but was sent home when things weren’t moving along.
As she started to feel labor pains, she thought she had time to shower and get her girls ready to go to the hospital, but the baby had other plans.
“It happened so fast that I literally didn’t have time to be nervous, scared, anything,” Jamelah said.
In a recording of the 911 call, the dispatcher can be heard guiding Jamelah as she feels she needs to push.
“Boom it just hits me, I’m like ‘I think I have to push’ I felt like I had to push – and she’s like ‘don’t push!’ and literally right after that, my body just naturally starts pushing,” Jamelah said.
Ten-year-old Harmony was standing by and helping her mom. “I kept breathing and listening to what they were saying, and just like helped,” she said.
Within minutes, baby Jah’Liam arrived. Soon after, paramedics were on scene.
“I’d like to thank all the paramedics but especially Dennis – he came, rushed in, checked the baby’s vitals,” she said.
Jamelah had a chance to meet the dispatcher and paramedics after KOIN 6 arranged a surprise visit. The reunion was happy and tearful.
“Thank you guys for getting me through traffic, for keeping me calm, for talking to my daughters, making sure that they had someone here before I left in the ambulance, I really really appreciate it – more than you ever know,” she said.
Dennis, the paramedic, said it was a special day for him too.
“It’s not often we get to follow up,” he said. “This makes it – seeing him and getting to hold him – there’s nothing like it.”
Virginia Krakowiak has been a dispatcher for Multnomah County for 8 years.
“She did great, she was super strong and followed instructions,” Virginia said of Jamelah.