A baby born at home with the cord wrapped around his neck is alive today thanks to the quick-thinking actions of a family friend.
Tiny Jonathan Madeka made his dramatic entrance into the world when his mum, Pache Mbombo, aged 27, went into labour unexpectedly at home.
Pache, now a mum of three, dialled 999 for an ambulance but was only midway through her call for help when Jonathan arrived.
Family friend Sherene Barden, 40, who could hear Pache’s screams from outside, raced into the house on Dryden Road, Southey Green, just as Jonathan was being delivered.
Spotting immediately that the baby had his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, Sherene, of Wordsworth Avenue, Parson Cross, freed the child’s head.
She said: “I picked him up, put the cord over his head and then he cried, so I knew he was fine. I was petrified but instinct just took over.
“It was one of those times where you just need to get on with it.
“I felt immense relief when I saw he was breathing.
“It was a very special moment. I went to see him again afterwards and I had a tear in my eye.”
Pache, recovering at home with her husband Richard Madeka and their children Emmanuel, five, and Rieneide, three, said she would be eternally grateful to Sherene - her ‘angel’.
Pache’s husband Richard, a cleaner at Sheffield University, had been battling his way across the city by bus and taxi to make it home in time for the birth, but missed the moment by minutes.
“Sherene is my angel,” said Pache. “She came in just at the right moment, just as I was pushing the baby out, and she spotted the cord wrapped around his neck and saved his life.
“He was really cold so she wrapped him up while we waited for the ambulance to arrive.”
Pache said she was also very proud of her daughter, Rieneide, who comforted her during the birth.
“She was there with me throughout,” she said. “She made sure I wasn’t alone - she was a real help.
“She got me the house phone and my mobile when I needed to call for an ambulance because I couldn’t move, and she kept asking if the baby and I were alright.
“Although I had only just dialled 999 and was screaming down the phone as I gave birth, that helped me too, knowing there was somebody there on the end of the phone to help me.”
The birth, last Friday, was Pache’s second dramatic delivery.
She gave birth to Rieneide in January 2010 in an ambulance which got stuck in snow en-route to the Jessop Maternity Wing.
“I think three children and two dramatic deliveries is enough,” she laughed.
“I don’t think there will be any more!”