CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — First responders on Friday reunited with a mother who they helped when she recently gave birth after going into labor while driving in Chapel Hill.
Chapel Hill police said Maria Mugweru reached out and thanked Officers German Barcenas and Timothy Christensen who offered their care when she had to stop her car in the road — while she was in labor.
Both officers were the first on the scene and comforted Mugweru and her young daughter before paramedics arrived. Mugweru ended up delivering her son in an ambulance before arriving at a hospital.
“I’m really grateful there are people who do this, that are trained to do this that knew what to do and how to work together so when I needed them, they were ready to go and everything worked out,” Mugweru said.
The Orange County mother said she has been in labor before, but it was never that fast! She said her baby boy arrived a week earlier than anticipated.
Mugweru said the whole experience lasted about 10 minutes from the time she dialed 911 to the time paramedics helped deliver her son in the back of an ambulance. She said, “I wanted to say thank you because when someone does something for you, you should always find a way to say I appreciate it, if it wasn’t for you, a lot of things could have gone differently. I just wanted them to know I appreciated everything they did for me and my family that day.”
The police department recognized the two officers with the Chief’s Cup to recognize their kindness and support.
“Your calmness and support to Ms. Mugweru and her daughter during an exciting time is what makes you great examples of what it means to be Guardians of the Hill,” said Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue.
Mugweru also visited and thanked the Chapel Hill Fire Department and EMS who showed up shortly after to help.
Firefighter Xander Heizer, Captain Justin Lawson and Fire Equipment Operator Kendall High with Engine 31 helped the family.
Mugweru also thanked the 911 operator Caroline Atkinson as well as paramedics Jennifer Peoples, Vicki Skeen, Carlos Arozco and EMT Tucker Philbrook.
Mugweru gave birth just minutes after calling 911.