Miracle in McDonough County


    That's how mom Connie Heath sums up her experience after giving birth to her little miracle.

    It all happened on route 9, just east of Blandinsville Sunday, December 6th. Connie started to feel labor pains, so she and her husband jumped in their car and headed for the hospital, but little Chase couldn't wait. He was coming out feet first. His feet and umbilical cord were visible, and the hospital was far from sight. So the Heath's were forced to pull over on the side of the road in the dark and cold night and wait for help.

    Q: Connie, were you scared at all? "Yes, very much...that he wasn't going to make it," said tearfully. Connie said she just kept hoping someone would get there in a hurry and help.

    Within minutes, hope arrived with Blandinsville EMT's Cheryl Campbell and Noel Phelps. Neither had delivered a baby before, but they knew what needed to be done.

    "When we saw what we needed to do, I was in the front seat and I could hear Noel behind me, but I couldn't see her. She said where do you need me to be and I said get in the front seat and have dad get in the back and we worked as a team," said EMT Cheryl Campbell.

    Q: Were you scared or concerned? "I was very fearful. I was afraid he wasn't going to make it, that something was going to happen. I was afraid for the mom," Noel Phelps said.

    But after 15 minutes, all fears were set aside as Chase was introduced to the world.

    "I was crying," said Phelps. "I was too," Campbell added. I was very excited to know, once I head him cry, I knew it was going to be ok," Phelps said.

    "She was a trooper, she was awesome, I don't think I would have been as strong as she was," said Phelps.

    Now, the next time Christmas comes around, and the Heaths tell the story of Jesus born in a manger. They can tell Chase about the day he was born in the family car on the side of the road.

    Chase, who was about six weeks early weighed six pounds, four ounces and is 19 inches long. He has three older brothers. By the way, the Heaths say they don't plan to have another child.

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