From Plymouth to Mishawaka in labor, mom gives birth at fire station

NOW: From Plymouth to Mishawaka in labor, mom gives birth at fire station

PLYMOUTH/MISHAWAKA, Ind.-- In an interview you will only see on ABC57 News, one mother was forced to drive through the snow and ice to Mishawaka from Plymouth—while in labor. In fact, she was unable to make it to the hospital, giving birth in her car outside a Mishawaka fire station.

Kassie Elkins was in labor early in the morning Jan. 20, but the hospital ten minutes away from her Plymouth home closed down its delivery services last year. *

The next closest option—Saint Joseph hospital in Mishawaka—at least 45 minutes further.

“It was really icy out, and I'm doing like 80 miles an hour, running red lights, I'm like ‘I'm going to get you there,’” said Jeremy Duncun.

“Yeah, so I was in active labor at that point—well now we know it was active labor!” Elkins said.

Elkins and Duncun rushed against the clock—through the tears, screams, and icy conditions—but Elkins knew she couldn’t wait the final ten minutes of the drive to the hospital.

“We’re at an intersection, right before the fire station. He was like ‘I see the baby, I see the baby.’ and I can feel her head," Elkins said. "So, I'm pushing, and I couldn’t stop pushing, it felt right. It hurt so bad. But then, he like, goes over these little bumps and pulls into the fire station.”

It was Mishawaka Fire Station 1 on Union Street.

“I pull in the fire department, I’m honking the horn, ‘help, please help,’” Duncun said.

He runs inside the station looking for help.

“By the time they came out, I already had pulled her out,” Elkins said.

First responders loaded up the new mom and baby in an ambulance—finally finishing their journey to the hospital.

Priscilla, now one month old, is doing just fine.

But the new parents are well aware that so many things could have gone wrong that day.

“It’s scary because you don’t know how your baby’s going to born, you don’t know if they’re going to have a cord around their neck, or if they’re not going to be breathing,” Elkins said. “People have babies every single day. There’s always babies being born.”

Everything turned out alright for mom and baby, but it’s anecdotal evidence of what can happen without accessible birthing services within a 45-minute radius from communities, what some may call a “maternal healthcare desert.”

Baby Priscilla will now forever have the address of Mishawaka Fire Station 1 on her birth certificate.

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