June 4, 2013 at 7:06 AM ET
A Utah woman gave birth to premature twins in a minivan beside Interstate 80, then had to struggle to revive one of the babies, born breeched and still inside his amniotic sac.
Lynette Hales, just 30 weeks pregnant, started having contractions Sunday in a hotel room in the tiny tourist town of Wendover, Nev., and the nearest hospital was more than hour away, NBC affiliate KSL-TV of Salt Lake City reported.
“So we thought we’d make a run for it,” Hales told reporters at a hospital news conference on Monday, explaining that she was with a family friend when her labor began. Her husband was back home, far away.
The friend, Jim Gerber, said he barreled along at up to 100 mph as he tried to get Hales to the hospital. But her twins had other ideas.
In a 911 call released to reporters, a dispatcher tells the pair, “We’re paging the ambulance right now, but you guys need to pull over.”
Moments later, just after pulling to the shoulder, Gerber can be heard on the call saying, “Oh my God, the baby’s coming out. … It’s in the sac.”
“I delivered with the bag of water intact. I had to break the water with my fingernails,” Hales said at the news conference.
On the call, her despair was clear as Gerber performed CPR. “My baby’s dying,” she said, crying.
Meanwhile, troopers from the Utah Highway Patrol were speeding to the scene.
At the news conference, trooper Cameron Fawson described what was going through his mind. “I’m going to have to deal with possibly one infant that may not make it … maybe a second infant that may not make it, and maybe mom.”
The first baby was showing signs of life as troopers arrived.
“He would look up at me,” Hales said, “I’m like, ‘Oh, I’m not going to let you go.’”
Then he took a breath on his own. “It was a moment like no other,” Hales said.
After troopers helped deliver the second twin, who was breathing, Hales and her sons were flown by helicopter to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, where the boys, Jeffrey Jr. and Anthony James, were expected to remain in neonatal intensive care for a few week as they mature, KSL reported.
"It's a life-changing thing, it really is," said Gerber.