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After parking lot birth, local family reunites with emergency responders

Jami and Donnie Nelson were trying to get to the hospital. The traffic on I-75 wouldn’t let...
Jami and Donnie Nelson were trying to get to the hospital. The traffic on I-75 wouldn’t let them, and they had a baby on the way(WWSB)
Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 8:44 PM EDT
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - Jami and Donnie Nelson were trying to get to the hospital. The traffic on I-75 wouldn’t let them, and they had a baby on the way.

“I didn’t have any idea it was a YMCA, I was just seeing a parking lot where I could potentially pull off and give birth to our son here,” Donnie said.

They pulled off into the parking lot of the Lakewood Ranch YMCA and called 911. Over the next 13 minutes, EMTs - conveniently stationed only a block away - came to help the Nelsons deliver baby Owen, who was a breach baby.

“When you hear that first cry, it’s like a sedative,” Lakewood Ranch EMS District Chief Jason Evans said. “Everybody’s just given a sedative because it’s that instant burst of relief that oh, if the baby’s crying, that means the airway’s open.”

Now, a month later, the Nelsons got to meet Evans and all the other EMTs that helped deliver Owen just a block away from where they reunited.

“It was a minute of pure pain, but I knew that [Evans] had him,” Jami said. “And I was instantly calm.”

Like Owen, Evans was a breach baby himself and has delivered four babies now during his time as an EMT. Owen got his name, which means “young warrior,” because of his resilience during the ordeal.

Today, Owen’s got a full head of hair, and is happy and healthy.

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