Tulsa nurse delivers baby in parking garage

TULSA, Okla. — A Green Country family is welcoming their new baby boy after a panicky delivery in a parking garage at Ascension St. John Medical Center near 21st and Utica.

Leah and Stephen Adwell of Tulsa say their son, Desmond Newman Adwell, was born at a healthy eight pounds and four ounces on December 6th. The family says they never anticipated the delivery to happen so fast after experiencing a very slow delivery process with their first son. The couple says they left their home at 7:30 a.m. and Desmond was born just a few minutes later in the hospital garage parking lot at 7:43 a.m.

Stephen, the father of the baby, said they were delayed after waiting for a relative to arrive to take care of their first son, a three-year-old toddler, before leaving to the hospital. He said he remembered driving faster than usual to get to the hospital and even faster when his wife’s water broke during the drive. Once parked, Stephen said he ran inside and yelled for help.

Jodi Sherwood, a registered nurse at Ascension St. John said she was assisting other patients in the waiting room before she heard the commotion. She said she never heard a call but was the first to respond. Sherwood said she remembered walking out to the parking lot and said, “I approached mom and saw that the baby was crowning. There was no stopping-- the baby was coming.”

Sherwood, a 12-year veteran at Ascension St. John and Anya Chudnaya, a nurse assistant in the emergency department, say neither have delivered a baby before December 6th. Sherwood says they prepare for everything, but in the emergency department, you never know what will walk through the door. The family says Sherwood remained calm and ensured their baby was safe and healthy.

Sherwood says this year has been very difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic. They see and treat very sick patients every day. Sherwood said there are days when their health care workers are tired and worn out, but helping bring life into this world was a reminder why she continues to be on the frontline. She said, “it just makes you remember why you’re in this profession and why you come to work every day.”

Through teary eyes, Leah stood beside her baby boy before getting ready to head to their first follow up appointment. She said the nurses and staff at Ascension St. John have worked so hard and still made their family feel like a priority in a frantic situation. She added, “there’s not really words, other than just how much that meant to me. We were relieved and to know that we were both safe.”