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Couple gives thanks to EMT who delivered baby unexpectedly early


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EPHRAIM — A couple is giving thanks this week to the emergency medical crew that helped when the miracle of birth came early.

Mikaella and Preston Clark were hoping to make it to Utah Valley Hospital on Aug. 17 to give birth via VBAC, a vaginal delivery of a baby after a previous pregnancy was delivered by cesarean delivery, to Charlie, when it appeared Charlie didn't want to wait.

"Contractions went from about 14 minutes apart to two minutes apart within that hour — way faster than my other labors," Mikaella Clark remembered. "I was like, 'We are not going to make it!'"

She moved to the bathroom floor and braced for birth.

Preston Clark called 911. An EMT who lived nearby was first to arrive.

"I'm like, are you the ones looking for an ambulance?" Penny Fullmer said.

At the time Fullmer pulled up, Mikaella Clark said baby Charlie was already crowning.

"Three pushes, (umbilical) cord was wrapped around her neck," Mikaella Clark said.

Fullmer knew she had to step in and act quickly and carefully and defaulted to her training.

"When I reached in and found that cord and realized it was wrapped quite tightly, and I thought in my mind, 'Oh, which way does it go over the head?'" Fullmer said. "You just kind of have to kind of grip and hold on and go, 'OK, I hope this is the right way' and it was!"

She grew emotional during a Nov. 21 event at Sanpete Valley Hospital in Mount Pleasant in which Fullmer and fellow EMS team members Stephen Herbert and Denise Durtschi were honored for excellence in their efforts, which included swiftly loading up mom and baby into an ambulance and rushing them to the hospital for additional checkup and care.

"I honestly felt just so guided in every step of the way," Fullmer said. "I can't say that enough!"

Penny Fullmer, center, grew emotional during Nov. 21 event at Sanpete Valley Hospital in Mount Pleasant where she was honored for excellence in her service.
Penny Fullmer, center, grew emotional during Nov. 21 event at Sanpete Valley Hospital in Mount Pleasant where she was honored for excellence in her service. (Photo: Meghan Thackrey, KSL-TV)

Mikaella, Preston and baby Charlie Clark were present for the event and extended their deepest appreciation. Mikaella Clark, an emergency dispatcher, was extra grateful Fullmer was only a couple blocks away when her husband placed the call to 911.

"(Penny) did an awesome job of controlling the situation," Preston said. "She was able to get the cord unwrapped and it was, like, a lifesaver for me because I honestly think I would have tried my best but I know I would have panicked seeing that and she was able to keep things under control and I'm just so thankful she was able to get there when she did."

Mikaella Clark also said it was great how well the EMS crew performed at an urgent time.

"It turned out perfectly," Mikaella Clark said.

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Andrew Adams
Andrew Adams is a reporter for KSL-TV whose work can also be heard on KSL NewsRadio and read on KSL.com and in the Deseret News.

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