South East Wales

Shannon Cox helped deliver baby brother at Argoed home

Sarah and Shannon Cox with baby Riley Image copyright Welsh Ambulance Service

An 11-year-old girl turned midwife to deliver her baby brother when her mother suddenly went into labour at their home.

Shannon Cox dialled 999 when her mother's waters broke in the bathroom at their house in Argoed, south Wales.

She carried out instructions given by a call handler and within minutes had delivered a baby boy.

As a reward, she chose the new baby's name, Riley Henry James, and was given a Welsh Ambulance Service certificate.

The drama began when Shannon's mother Sarah ran a bath.

"It was just me and the kids at home. I started having one or two little pains, nothing major, then went to run a bath and that's when my waters went," said the 30-year-old.

"Shannon and my two younger ones were home. I woke her up and she phoned for the ambulance, and gave them the details.

"They did ask me to get out of the bath, but I couldn't manage it so she followed all the instructions they gave her over the phone and before I knew it I'd given birth.

Image copyright Welsh Ambulance Service
Image caption Mum Sarah Cox (l) with baby Riley, Shannon and call handler Danielle Burrows

After safely delivering her brother in the early hours of 4 March, Shannon gathered towels to wrap him in and even used a shoe lace to tie his umbilical cord.

An ambulance crew arrived shortly afterwards to make sure mother and baby were safe.

Call handler Danielle Burrows, who has helped to deliver six babies over the phone during her two-and-a-half years with the ambulance service, said: "She was as good as gold throughout the entire call.

"I could hear Sarah in the background so I was talking to them both, but obviously she had to do a lot of work in preparing her mum for birth.

"There was a lot of commotion, then the next thing I know her mum is on the phone saying the baby's been delivered."

Mrs Cox added that Shannon and three-month-old Riley have developed a special bond.

"She can't do enough for him and the first thing she does is check if he's okay. She's so loving towards him," she said.

"I don't think Shannon realises just how important what she did was. The only thing she says when people ask her is 'That's what the midwives do', as if it was nothing."

The Welsh Ambulance Service has presented Shannon with a "Superhero" certificate for her efforts.

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