Video: Dad helps deliver baby girl at home

updated 8/24/2006 11:06:03 AM ET 2006-08-24T15:06:03

Acting on the instructions of a 911 operator, Boe Ellis breathed life into his newborn daughter as paramedics raced to the house where the baby arrived sooner than her parents or doctors expected.

"I would give Dad all the credit in the world," said Bob Pulford, one of the paramedics.

Only hours earlier, Sharon Ellis had gone for a routine checkup at Willamette Falls Hospital, where doctors told her she'd probably have the baby this weekend, Boe said.

Sharon had a few minor contractions leading up to the Monday appointment, so Boe took the day off, and the family spent the afternoon at a friend's house.

The couple went to bed at about 10 p.m., expecting little more than a restful night's sleep, Boe Ellis said.

About 1 a.m. Tuesday, Sharon went into sudden labor in the bathroom of their Canby home and yelled to her husband there was no time to get to a hospital.

In a matter of minutes, the baby was born. But instead of warming to a healthy pink, she was pale and struggling for air.

As paramedics raced to the Ellis home, Boe, 29, followed instructions from 911 operator Tammy Shaver. He cleared his daughter's breathing passage, blew two puffs of air into her mouth and gently pressed on her chest to stimulate her heart.

Finally, Boe tapped on his daughter's feet, and Bridget took her first light breaths as Pulford and fellow paramedics Val Codino and Tighe Vroman arrived.

They found the baby's pulse and respiration were slow, so they left her connected to the umbilical cord and receiving oxygenated blood from her mother while they continued resuscitation. Over the next 18 minutes, they provided physical stimulation and supplemental oxygen.

But the paramedics all agreed that Boe Ellis saved his baby's life and protected her from brain damage or other long-term effects.

Bridget Ellis was doing fine with her mother at Legacy Meridian Park Hospital in Tualatin, with her father and her 2-year-old sister, Brooke, all smiles.

Sharon Ellis, meanwhile, said she was still amazed at her husband's calm response: "I thought for sure he would have passed out in a situation like that."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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