Awe-inspiring doctor delivers patient's baby - while in labour herself

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Megan Murray
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They say a doctor is never off duty, but we always assumed that there were some exceptions. Like, say, if said doctor was in hospital and preparing to give birth to their own baby.

However, that was not the case for this heroic obstetrician, who jumped from her own hospital bed and rushed to the aid of another woman when she heard her cries for help.

Dr. Amanda Hess was preparing to give birth to her second baby at Frankfort Regional Medical Center Kentucky, USA. But, as she was sat waiting in her hospital room, she heard shouts from another woman nearby.

Speaking to TV station WKYT, Hess explains: “I just put on another gown to cover up my backside and put on some boots over my shoes, to keep from getting any fluid and all that stuff on me, and went down to her room.”

In a pretty incredible turn of events, Hess soon realised that the woman struggling was actually one of her own patients. In fact, she had seen Leah Halliday-Johnson just the week before for her final pre-natal appointment – and, at the time, all had been well.

However, Halliday-Johnson’s pregnancy had moved along at a faster pace than previously expected: less than an hour after being admitted to hospital, she was ready to give birth.

Worse still, her unborn baby had become distressed after the umbilical cord became wrapped around its neck, transforming a difficult situation into an incredibly dangerous one. And, as the mum-of-four tells PEOPLE magazine, the situation was further compounded by the fact that her on-call doctor was away on his break

Nurses tried to keep the mum-to-be calm, deterring her from pushing before the umbilical cord had been corrected, something that Halliday-Johnson describes as, unsurprisingly, being “difficult” – particularly as there had been no time to administer any pain relief.

“I was not being quiet about the fact that it was difficult for me not to push,” says Halliday-Johnson.

It was at this moment that Hess came to the rescue. As the Physician Moms Group describes the scene, she was “getting into her patient gown to prepare for her induction and delivery she overheard the nurses preparing for a woman in active labor who needed to deliver immediately because the baby was in distress.

“That baby was coming and needed help.”

Hess was all too willing to scrub up and offer her aid: with just two swift pushes, she helped Halliday-Johnson to safely deliver an 8lbs baby girl safely.

Then, job well done, Hess returned to her own hospital room – where, just a few short hours later, she gave birth to her own child, too. 

Speaking to radio station WLEX, Hess says: “I had actually taken a call the day before, so I thought really that I was working up to the last minute. But this was literally ’til the last second.”

Her efforts have not gone unnoticed. Indeed, Halliday-Johnson has praised Hess as a “really special person.”

“It’s life-affirming that there are these women out there watching out for other women,” she says.

Members of the Physician Moms Group, where the story has also been shared, have also commented on the admirable strength of Hess, with Facebook user Deborah Craig writing: “That’s a woman for you, always working.”

Many more agreed, such as Crissy Tamu, who wrote: “Love love love strong women.”

Anm Sterner added: “Wow wow wow…women helping women…the success of civilisation.”

So, is anyone else feeling inspired after reading about this awesome girl power moment? Excuse us, we’re just off to try and save the world or something...

Images: iStock


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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a senior digital writer for, who enjoys writing about homeware (particularly candles), travel, food trends, restaurants and all the wonderful things London has to offer.