We're not sure if Deborah Vinje ever considered being a labor and delivery nurse. But the Mayo Clinic radiologic technologist got an unexpected opportunity to play one earlier this month when she helped deliver a baby on the sidewalk of the Methodist Campus of Mayo Clinic Hospital in Rochester.
As the Rochester Post-Bulletin reports, Kelly Schultz's water broke at around 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 19. Kelly's husband, Cory, drove her to the hospital, jumped out of the van, hit "the big red after-hours button outside the doors," and scrambled to find a wheelchair for his wife. Kelly, however, would never make it into that wheelchair. "He (Cory) was saying 'We're so close' and tried to get me in (the wheelchair), but I had to lie down," she tells the paper.
Inside the hospital, Mayo Clinic Security staff were scrambling to find help. That's when Vinje, who was just getting off work, came out through the doors and into the Schultz's lives. "I didn't know what was going on," she tells the P-B. "I thought she had fallen trying to get in the wheelchair."
After realizing Kelly was actually in labor, Vinje tried to call the Mayo Clinic operator for assistance, the P-B reports. As she did, however, "Kelly screamed." So Vinje "threw down" her phone and "dropped down to see what was happening." What she saw were "two little eyes" looking at her. And though Vinje had never delivered a baby before, Cory Schultz tells the paper she was a natural. "She just jumped right in and took over," he says. "It was amazing how calm she was." Three pushes later, young Kannon Lee Schultz entered the world — less than one hour after her mother's water broke.
Vinje rubbed young Kannon's back and feet "for a minute or so" until she began to cry. That's when a Mayo medical team then arrived, "led by an ICU doctor" who cut the baby's umbilical cord while "the team wrapped both Kelly and Kannon up in warm blankets." (It's January, after all.)
Cory Schultz gave Vinje "a quick hug" before she "disappeared into the night" like the unnamed superhero Cory and Kelly considered her to be. The newspaper reports that Mayo Clinic security staff helped the Schultzes reconnect with Vinje earlier this week so they could thank her again and give her a chance to hold little Kannon a second time.
"The best part is that it ended well with everyone healthy," Cory Schultz says of Kannon's unique entry into the world. "By the grace of God, the right person walked through the door at the right time."
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