A young woman went into labor in the restroom and delivered a baby at McDonald’s restaurant, located on Central Avenue in Lake Wales at around 9:30 a.m., according to reports.
And McDonald’s managers were there to help her while waiting on EMS to arrive.
According to Karen Davis, assistant manager, both Shardonnay Hill and her new baby, Joshua, left in ambulances “in good condition,” from what they could see at the scene.
Davis notes the pregnant mother and her grandmother, Barbara Albert of Frostproof, were at the restaurant, and Barbara was at the counter ordering coffee when word came that Shardonnay was in labor.
“We went in to check and we were like, oh my God,” said Davis, noting the managers quickly moved to help the young woman.
One manager was on the phone with 911 (Catherine Page), relaying to the other managers what 911 wanted them to do while awaiting the EMS arrival.
Davis said McDonald’s employees have seen other medical emergencies in the past, but those weren’t “as happy,” as this one.
The happiness came, she noted, when they realized that mom and baby were going to be OK.
“The baby looked great,” she said, noting that the mother said she was only six months along in her pregnancy.
Phyllis Tirado was the manager who actually delivered the baby, assisted by Jessica Robtouch.
“I was the upper coach, trying to get her to breathe, another young lady was getting towels to prop her head up, and then there was the fourth manager that was between the catcher (Phyllis). By the time the EMT got there that was assisting,” she said the baby had arrived.
The baby was still in his mother’s water bag, and Davis said, “We were just, what does 911 want us to do next? They instructed us to remove the bag from the baby and do chest massage on the child.”
“Her water never broke,” Davis said.
And as for mom?
“Mom was great. Mom was very composed. She was able to see the baby,” Davis said.
Davis noted she has never witnessed a human birth, but added she did deliver kittens before.
She smiles as she admits, “It was so quick. If it would have taken longer, I would have been more nervous.”
Meanwhile, assistant manager Mike Fletcher visited the restaurant after having left from his shift, only 20 minutes before the baby’s birth.
Fletcher, whose brother, Jonathan Fletcher, is a Lake Wales Police Officer, is an EMT, and noted he wishes he would have been there.
“I’m really proud of them. I’m so proud,” he says.