Express delivery in LGH car park

AFTER more than 30 years as a security guard in Australia and overseas, John Mokomoko is used to the unexpected.

But he said delivering a baby in the Launceston General Hospital car park was something else.

Mr Mokomoko got a surprise early on  Wednesday morning when we was asked to have a wheelchair ready for expectant mother Sam Claridge, of Turners Marsh.

He quickly realised that   he would have to do much more, and called over the radio for nurses to hurry.

‘‘I had the wheelchair and everything ready, but when she couldn’t sit down I thought things were probably a bit further along,’’ Mr Mokomoko said. ‘‘She didn’t even have a chance to lie down.’’

By the time nurses travelled down one floor to the car park, Lukas Lee Claridge had been born.

‘‘Nothing happens that quick –  it was just a case of pants down, there’s the head, catch,’’ Mr Mokomoko said.

‘‘I told her friend to put her hands out to get the baby, and the look on her face when she caught it was just priceless.

‘‘They’re slippery little suckers.’’

Mr Mokomoko had Lukas wrapped in a night gown and pressed to his mother’s chest.

‘‘The nurses walked down, and took a moment to find us, but when they saw us with the baby they came running, grabbing blankets and everything,’’ Mr Mokomoko said.

He wasn’t fazed by the  delivery, having seen the birth of his three children.

‘‘She’s the hero of the whole thing. She was really calm –  I couldn’t believe how quiet she was,’’ he said.

Ms Claridge said Lukas arrived about 25 minutes after she first realised she was in labour. He was two days overdue.

Ms Claridge said: ‘‘I thought I was going to have him in the car –  I was crossing my legs there for a bit – so I was just glad to get out.’’

For Mr Mokomoko, work returned to normal pretty soon after the experience.

‘‘We just continued our shift on to the next thing. Some clown was putting fire extinguisher on cars,’’ he said.

Security guard John Mokomoko with   Lukas Lee Claridge, who  Mr Mokomoko helped deliver in the Launceston General Hospital  car park. Picture: SCOTT GELSTON

Security guard John Mokomoko with Lukas Lee Claridge, who Mr Mokomoko helped deliver in the Launceston General Hospital car park. Picture: SCOTT GELSTON

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