Emergency services rescue pregnant woman stranded in floods

PUBLISHED: 13:17 31 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:55 10 June 2010

Phil and Juliet Hall and their newborn son, Nathan, who was born amid Thursday's flood chaos

Phil and Juliet Hall and their newborn son, Nathan, who was born amid Thursday's flood chaos

Copyright Archant Ltd

Friday, October 31 - FOR a couple caught in the freak weather conditions of yesterday there was at least one silver lining - a baby boy.

FOR a couple caught in the freak weather conditions of yesterday there was at least one silver lining - a baby boy.

Juliet and Phil Hall, of Northleigh, near Honiton, started their journey just after midnight - as the rain and hail started to pick up - trapping the pregnant Mrs Hall on the A30, by the Daisymount junction, while in labour.

A police car, ambulance and a coastguard four-wheel drive were part of the rescue team that transported the 34-year-old to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital where Nathan was born after a 10-hour labour.

She said: "When we left the house there was ice and hailstones it was bad - at one point they said they would get a helicopter.

"I remember just seeing flashes of lightning the whole time and then seeing blue flashing lights and saying: 'Please don't let the road be closed'.

"That's when I saw the police."

The early hours of Thursday morning saw 75 per cent of the average monthly rainfall fall in just 12 hours.

Mr Hall, 42, a company director, pulled up the car to the front of the queue and explained his wife's condition to the officers.

He said: "The police waved me down and said: 'You can't go any further.'

'I said I've got to get to the hospital,' and once I explained what was going on he said: 'We'd better try and sort something out'.'

The police flagged down an ambulance that was stuck in front of the couple's car where they gave Mrs hall gas and air.

A coastguard four-wheel drive was called to take them as far as Exeter International airport where another ambulance whisked them away to the hospital.

She said: "The midwife was fantastic and put an epidural in straight away - I will love that anaesthetist until the day I die."

Mrs Hall, who is doing a PHD in innovation in healthcare, had a quiet pregnancy and gave birth to a healthy boy at 9.57am.

He was born three-weeks early.

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