Soldier’s mission is accomplished

'Christmas miracle': Matthew Thorpe with baby Alexis and partner Lauren Sweeney.'                                                   Picture: Dean Atkins
'Christmas miracle': Matthew Thorpe with baby Alexis and partner Lauren Sweeney.' Picture: Dean Atkins
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AN AFGHANISTAN veteran proved he can’t help being a hero - by delivering his own baby daughter on the bathroom floor just days before Christmas!

Soldier Matthew Thorpe, aged 23, launched into action when his partner Lauren Sweeney, 19, went into labour at their flat in Novara Close, Kendray, Barnsley.

Matthew held their first child Alexis as soon as she was born, and even cut the umbilical cord before Lauren and the infant were taken to hospital.

He said he is looking forward to telling Alexis the story of her dramatic birth - while his aunt Tina Robinson said the little girl’s delivery was a ‘Christmas miracle’.

Matthew, a lance corporal in the Royal Logistic Corps, had been training in Oxford before he returned home on Christmas leave last Saturday.

“She was due on December 12, so it’s been a bit later than expected. We went in to hospital because her waters broke, but she wasn’t ready to give birth so they gave her the option to stay or go,” he said.

“Lauren wanted to go home, but we were only home for an hour when she felt like she started pushing. She was having a bath and had just started to get out.

“She could feel the head coming out and that was it, she was on her hands and knees. She started panicking.”

Matthew said he phoned Lauren’s mum Tracy Sweeney, aged 38, who came round to help deliver the baby.

“I was pretty calm, but I had no preparation at all. I rang 999, but by the time they were talking us through it I had hold of the baby.

“We didn’t think she was breathing to start with - but then she started breathing and she started crying. Everything was fine.

“I wanted to cut the umbilical cord, I thought it was the kind of thing you should do.”

Alexis was born at 1.30am on Wednesday, weighing a healthy 8lb 9oz.

Lauren was kept in hospital due to losing blood during the birth, but was expected home yesterday evening to spend Christmas with the baby and Matthew, her partner of two years.

She left her call centre job in the final stages of her pregnancy.

Matthew, who’s been a soldier for six-and-a-half years, is in the Royal Logistics’ 4 Logistic Support Regiment, and is responsible for maintaining Army vehicles. His next tour of duty in Afghanistan will be in March.

“I’ll definitely be telling her about the way she was born, although I wouldn’t know where to start - it’s quite a story to tell!

“You do miss your family when you’re away from home, it’s always nice to get back. I’d rather be here than over there and miss the birth.”

Tina, 49, from Parson Cross, Sheffield, said: “To deliver your own baby is a lovely thing. It’s a Christmas miracle.”