Iowa deputy helps free umbilical cord from newborn’s neck

Baby was born on roadside before mom could reach hospital

Johnson County Deputy Shawn Swartzendruber was on patrol in the middle of the night when he was called to the aid of mother giving birth on a roadside en route to Iowa City, Iowa.  (Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office)
Johnson County Deputy Shawn Swartzendruber was on patrol in the middle of the night when he was called to the aid of mother giving birth on a roadside en route to Iowa City, Iowa. (Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office)

JOHNSON CO., Iowa (KWQC) – The Stence family needed a doctor but got a deputy instead.

And their story has a happy ending thanks to the quick action of Johnson County Deputy Shawn Swartzendruber.

Last week, Swartzendruber was on patrol at 1:55 a.m. when he was dispatched to a vehicle that had made an emergency stop on Highway 1.

The Stence family was trying to make it to Iowa City for the birth of a child, but the mother’s contractions had started coming too fast.

Deputy Swartzendruber arrived to find mom in the front seat saying she could already feel the baby’s head.

A baby girl was born soon thereafter, and Swartzendruber saw there was a problem.

The baby was turning blue because the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck.

“The mother panicked and was trying to pull the cord away from the back of the neck which caused more strain,” according to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page.  “Deputy Swartzendruber instructed her to lower the baby toward her lap and then slowly rotate the baby so the cord would disentangle.”

The baby began to cry and opened her eyes after the cord was removed from her neck.

Paramedics soon arrived to find mom and baby family doing well.

Deputy Swartzendruber, a six-year veteran with the department, was back on patrol at 2:19 a.m.

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