Two professional truck drivers have been credited for delivering a baby in an unusual location and saving his life. For their quick thinking and willingness to help, the men have been added to the Truckload Carriers Association’s roster of Highway Angels, professional drivers who stop to help others.
On Nov. 30, 2013, Fredrick Robatcek of Sauk Rapids, Minn., a truck driver for FTC Transportation, of Oklahoma City, Okla., was eating breakfast at a Denny’s in Texarkana, Ark. It was a little after 5:00 a.m. Another truck driver, Peter Holland of Waterdown, Ontario, who drives for Challenger Motor Freight of Cambridge, Ontario, had just finished washing up and was now preparing his morning coffee.
The door opened, and a pregnant woman and her sister entered. None of the people inside the restaurant realized it yet, but the woman was two weeks past her due date and had suddenly gone into labor while visiting her family for Thanksgiving. She was on her way to the hospital, but had stopped at the Denny’s to pick up her mother, who worked there. Unfortunately, the mother had already left for the hospital.
Suddenly, everyone heard the woman scream in agony. Rushing over, Robatcek and Holland were astounded to see that the baby was already on its way! At first, they could not move the woman, but eventually got her down onto the carpet. As the baby boy moved out a little more, they realized that the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck.
Robatcek conveyed information back and forth with 911 while Holland—whose hands were clean from just having washed them—pushed the baby back inside enough to manipulate the umbilical cord so he could breathe. Once the 10 lb., 4 oz. baby was delivered, the men helped cover the woman with towels brought by the Denny’s employees, gave her water, and helped to clean off the newborn. When the paramedics arrived, they handled the actual cutting of the cord.
The woman and her family were immensely grateful for Robatcek and Holland’s help. “Thanks for being there, and not leaving one minute before or one minute after,” she was quoted in a local newspaper. “Thank you for saving my baby’s life.”
When asked about his role in the drama, Robatcek said, “I’m so humbled by this experience, and so grateful that God chose me to help bring a new life into this world. It happened so fast… there was no possible way an ambulance could have gotten there in time.”
Holland, too, was moved, recalling how the baby took a big gasp when he came out and then grabbed Holland’s little finger. “It wasn’t until I got back in my truck and was headed toward Mexico that I realized…I just helped someone through a very difficult situation and delivered a healthy baby boy—and all before breakfast!”
For their quick thinking and willingness to help, Robatcek and Holland have been presented with Highway Angel lapel pins, certificates, and patches. FTC Transportation, Inc., and Challenger Motor Freight also received certificates acknowledging that their two drivers are Highway Angels.