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Chopper helps deliver baby safely

Jecinta Laurie of Malabugilmah gave birth to her first child, daughter Lillyarna Toni Laurie-McGrady at the Grafton Maternity Unit on Wednesday.
Jecinta Laurie of Malabugilmah gave birth to her first child, daughter Lillyarna Toni Laurie-McGrady at the Grafton Maternity Unit on Wednesday. Debrah Novak

THE birth of a healthy baby girl was the outcome of a dramatic day for a Malabugilmah woman on Wednesday.

The heavily pregnant Jecinta Laurie was flown by Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter to Grafton Base Hospital from her home near Baryulgil at about 10am, after she started having contractions.

An ambulance took Jecinta to the nearby football fields where they met the chopper.

“I didn’t believe we were going in a helicopter until I heard it,” she said.

“It was really scary because it was my first time in a helicopter.”

After a short trip in the chopper, Lillyarna Toni Laurie-McGrady was born at 2pm.

An hour’s drive by car, the rescue helicopter got mother and daughter safely to the hospital in 10 minutes.

The first child for doting parents Jecinta and Neville, little Lillyarna arrived a week-and-a-half early, just in time for Christmas.

Jecinta’s waters broke upon hearing the news her grandfather, Toni Williams, had died.

“She was meant to be born on January 7, but the stress of hearing of my pop’s passing brought on an early labour,” she said.

Jecinta’s sister, Alinta, stayed with her in the labour room.

“When God takes one life, he gives another,” she said, speaking of her late grandfather.

Weighing 5lb 5oz, Lillyarna was the perfect Christmas gift for her family.

Jecinta said the Westpac Service was a great help throughout the ordeal.

“They were really good,” she said.

Most of the cost to run the service is funded through donations, volunteer support group activities and sponsorships by the community.

If you would like to donate to the rescue service this festive season, or at any time of the year, please phone them on 4952 0000.



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