Chicago police officers deliver Easter baby in an SUV
As Johnny Stokes was driving on 71st Street, he knew his pregnant daughter, Kaliyah, would not make it to Comer Children’s Hospital in time to give birth to his grandchild. So when he got to Cottage Grove Avenue and saw the District 3 police station, Stokes pulled over onto the sidewalk and asked Chicago police officers for help.
Stokes’ daughter, who was in the passenger seat of his 2006 Black Chevy Tahoe, was in active labor during the car ride to the hospital. Stokes said his daughter’s due date was last week and she had been experiencing contractions, about 12 to 13 minutes apart. Her water had broken that morning.
“I guess she was ready today,” Stokes said at a press conference Sunday morning.
The baby girl, Ava, was delivered by police officers early Easter Sunday morning. The mother and baby were transported to Comer Children’s Hospital and are reported healthy and safe.
Around 7 a.m., Officer Sean Hamil was approached by Stokes. Hamil proceeded to assist in the birth of baby Ava from the passenger seat of the vehicle and subsequently removed the umbilical cord around her neck. His partner, Officer Lawrence Nickerson, also aided in the delivery with the help of several female officers who held the baby and cared for the mother while an ambulance came to the scene.
“It wasn’t as big as a shock to me. It did freak me out, but it was more like, let’s do what we need to do,” Nickerson said. “It was a great team effort.”
Officer Tasha Flippin said she understood what the mother was going through as she just recently became a new mom herself.
“It was gratifying,” Flippin said. “When you’re actually giving birth you’re in pain, but when you see the joy of seeing someone give life, it’s a wonderful experience.”
Officer Geraldine Hutchinson also felt joy in aiding with the birth. Hutchinson said in her 19 years on the force, Ava was the third baby she helped deliver in the line of duty.
“I was hoping for the middle name to be Easter, but Ava is good,” she said.
Stokes said he was happy his first grandchild was born on Easter Sunday and now has a story to tell her for years to come.
“She messed up the whole front seat of my car so that’s something I can tell her,” he said. Stokes added he was appreciative of the help the officers provided and was on his way to wash off his passenger seat.
“The baby has two uncles right here,” Stokes said of the men who delivered his granddaughter.