A newborn baby boy in Washington state can already lay claim to having survived two unexpected disasters: one of the worst winter storms to ever hit Washington state, and being delivered in a hospital service elevator.
The amazing tale of Blake Michael Thacker ended with his birth at the St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, around 5:45 Wednesday morning.
It began with his parents, Katie and Luke Thacker, leaving their home in nearby Graham hours before when Katie started to go into labor with her second child.
The couple’s drive to St. Joseph took twice as long as usual because of the snowy and icy conditions created by the winter storm that unexpectedly walloped the state this week, local ABC affiliate KOMO reports.
By the time the Thackers managed to pull into the parking lot of the hospital’s emergency room, Katie was ready to push, so hospital staff rushed her into a service elevator to whisk her to the maternity ward on the 14th floor.
“Katie was probably ready to push before we got there,” Luke Thacker said, according to KOMO.
The group, now comprising the Thackers, four nurses and Katie’s mother and sister too, rode the elevator to the 12th floor where they had to switch elevators to continue on to their 14th floor destination.
Luke, Katie’s mom and sister and one nurse stepped out, only to watch the elevator’s doors close, leaving Katie and the three remaining nurses trapped inside the elevator and now stuck between floors.
“I was in such hard labor, I was just thinking, ‘Are you kidding me?’” Katie said, of her first reaction.
While hospital staff called emergency crews to rescue them, Katie and the nurses proceeded as Mother Nature demanded, delivering Blake inside the elevator. He was a healthy 7 pounds 15 ounces, and 21.5 inches long.
“Am I really in an elevator?” Katie said, of her second reaction. “Did I really have my baby in an elevator?”
According to KOMO, the elevator remained stuck for about two hours before two technicians could pry the doors open.
Luke reportedly stayed in touch with Katie during the delivery via walkie-talkie, before climbing down to cut the umbilical cord of his newborn son.
Mom, nurses and baby all made it out of the elevator safely and unharmed, and with a good story to tell.
Luke and Katie also bequeathed their son with a nickname worthy of his dual-disaster delivery, Blake “the Snowflake Otis” Michael Thacker.
Snowflake came in honor of the snow that delayed their drive to the delivery room, and Otis in honor of the company that manufactures the broken elevator in which he was born.