FAMILY WITH PARAMEDIC

Chris and Janet Sawyer of Columbus, with their son Jaspar and twins Imogene and Connor, pose for a photo with Adam, the LifeStar paramedic who took care of Janet when she went into labor prematurely, at the Firecracker 5 in July.

CONTRIBUTED

On April 13, 2016 we began the day in the most unexpected and scary way. At 28 weeks and 4 days pregnant with twins, I spontaneously went into labor 15 minutes after calling my doctor to let her know I thought I needed to be seen. I guess I thought right! A frantic call to 911 and mere minutes later, we were greeted by a Columbus police officer and two paramedics from LifeStar.

As fearful and upset as I was, everyone seemed to be calm and collected. My thoughts were with my babies and my not-yet 2-year-old as I lay in the back of the ambulance. The kind paramedic taking care of me told me that if it came to it, he could deliver the babies there in the ambulance; he had actually delivered his own baby, so no need to worry. My take away was, “OH, NO, that is NOT happening!” I was trying to tell myself that nothing was going to happen; these babies were staying put. But, then when I heard the paramedic taking care of me say to the driver, “Lights and sirens,” I knew this was serious.

Within no time we had arrived at UnityPoint Health Meriter Hospital. I was swiftly taken up to Labor and Delivery. My paramedic dictated my status to the receiving nurses, I was moved off the gurney, the paramedic wished me good luck and off he went. The hours that ensued were long and difficult as we prepared ourselves for the inevitable fact that we were not able to stop the labor, despite everyone’s best efforts. We met with our neonatologist and were informed of what to expect babies to be like when they were that premature, and the likely risks and complications. After about 12 tense hours, at 7:49 p.m., we welcomed a 2-pound, 9- ounce baby girl, and at 7:55 p.m. our 3-pound, 2-ounce baby boy followed. We all made it through that first night; however various health conditions and scares associated with prematurity kept little Imogene Mabel and Connor Leroy in the NICU for 71 days. On June 22, 2016 we were finally able to take both babies home!

Chris has run in the Firecracker 5 for a number of years, and last year that race was one of the first of very few outings we took the babies on. To our surprise, as we walked up to the High School I saw the ambulance with our paramedic standing there. I never imagined seeing him again. Of course we needed to introduce the babies to the man who helped keep us safe that day. I think he was as excited to see us as we were to see him. He shared that, unfortunately, many of his transports don’t have a happy ending, and he never hears about the ones that do. We were so happy to bring this story full circle for him and to help him see what a difference he makes in the lives of the people he helps. It was a moment that we will add to the memories of how our twins made their most unexpected entrance into this world.

As we celebrate the twins’ first birthday this weekend, we wanted to thank the Columbus Police Department, and LifeStar Paramedics, especially Adam. We are most thankful and grateful to be part of a community that offers lifesaving services from such kind and skilled professionals.

Sincerely,

The Sawyer Family

Chris, Janet, big brother Jaspar and twins Imogene and Connor,

Columbus