Kialan Martin Lawlor, at six days old, yesterday met the man who helped him into this world.
Kialan’s mother Siobhan, 37, went into labour at her home on Arranmore Island off Donegal and the new coastguard €40m S-92 Sikorsky helicopter rushed her to Letterkenny General Hospital last Friday. But little Kialan was already on his way during the flight.
Winchman and paramedic Gary Robertson, 41, who helped deliver the baby, met Kialan for the first time since then when Michael Ring, the junior transport minister, officially launched the helicopter yesterday at its base in Strandhill, Co Sligo.
Gary, a father of two, said: “We didn’t have the time to get Siobhan to a midwife in the hospital before the baby was born.
“The little boy was born and crying two minutes after we touched the helipad in Letterkenny.
“Siobhan was in labour from the moment she came aboard at Arranmore.
“Her waters actually broke just as we reached Letterkenny Hospital. Two ambulance paramedics were taking us to the labour suite and they went to get a midwife.
“Siobhan and I were left in the corridor and then things started moving fast. Mum delivered the baby in the corridor.
“I was there to assist and the midwives in Letterkenny Hospital came around within a few moments, but it was already over and done. They were a couple of minutes too late.”
Gary said there were no complications during birth.
“As we were moving out of the helicopter, things were moving quickly but the head hadn’t shown yet.
“It’s lovely now to see baby and mum are doing so well.”
He has two daughters, aged 10 and 7, and was at both their births, but not as a paramedic; he was holding his wife’s hand.
Siobhan, who has lived on Arranmore for eight years, laughed: “Now he has held another wife’s hand in childbirth.”
Siobhan, who couldn’t stop laughing when the baby was born so fast, said: “This is the first time I have met Gary since. My eyes were closed during delivery He was the one giving me gas and air. He was by my side all the time.”