National Guard Aids Mom-To-Be During Blizzard The blizzard that struck the Midwest this week left many people stranded in their homes, but not all of them were rescued by the National Guard. That is what happened to Cynthia Reece of Warrensburg, Mo., when she went into labor. With her husband away, 5-foot-tall snowdrifts blocking the road to her house, and ambulances unable to reach her, the National Guard — using a six-wheeled military vehicle built for the desert — got her to the hospital in time to deliver her very first child. Host Michele Norris speaks to Cynthia Reece and Staff Sgt. William Stewart about the adventure.
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National Guard Aids Mom-To-Be During Blizzard

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National Guard Aids Mom-To-Be During Blizzard

National Guard Aids Mom-To-Be During Blizzard

National Guard Aids Mom-To-Be During Blizzard

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/133475339/133475317" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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The blizzard that struck the Midwest this week left many people stranded in their homes, but not all of them were rescued by the National Guard. That is what happened to Cynthia Reece of Warrensburg, Mo., when she went into labor. With her husband away, 5-foot-tall snowdrifts blocking the road to her house, and ambulances unable to reach her, the National Guard — using a six-wheeled military vehicle built for the desert — got her to the hospital in time to deliver her very first child. Host Michele Norris speaks to Cynthia Reece and Staff Sgt. William Stewart about the adventure.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

I'm joined now on the phone by Cynthia Reece and staff sergeant William Stewart, one of the Missouri National Guard. Welcome to both of you. Thanks so much for being with us. And Cynthia, congratulations to you.

CYNTHIA REECE: Well, thank you.

NORRIS: Were you home all alone when your water broke? No one else there with you?

REECE: Oh, yes.

NORRIS: So, you picked up the phone, I imagine.

REECE: Yeah, immediately after my water broke, I called the hospital and they told me to call 911.

NORRIS: So you're - I'm just going to paint a picture for our listeners, you're in your house surrounded by all that snow, wondering if the ambulance is going to make its way to you and somewhere down the road, some distance, was Sergeant William Stewart trying to make his way to you. Sergeant Stewart, how did you get pulled into this? Did the hospital call you?

WILLIAM STEWART: Negative. We were on orders, Johnson County, Missouri ambulance district had requested SEMA(ph) assets and we were actually attached to the ambulance station that got the 911 call.

NORRIS: Now, tell me a little bit more about the vehicle that you were riding.

STEWART: We were running a five-ton cargo truck that is designed for sand. It has a central tire inflation system on it to where we can inflate and deflate the tires on the move. When we arrived on scene, we actually had to deflate the tires to get proper traction to break the snowdrifts to get to her house.

NORRIS: What was that ride like to the hospital in this great big vehicle that we just heard described?

REECE: It was awesome.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

REECE: It was really tall.

NORRIS: How long did it take you to get to the hospital.

REECE: It took about 45 minutes, maybe an hour.

(SOUNDBITE OF BABY)

NORRIS: I think we hear someone in the background there.

REECE: Yeah, he's waking up.

NORRIS: What's his name?

REECE: His name is John Robert Reece.

NORRIS: And John Robert Reece was born at what time in the morning?

REECE: At 9:48 in the morning yesterday.

NORRIS: And it sounds like mother and baby are doing well.

REECE: We're doing awesome.

NORRIS: Good. Good. Well, so glad to hear that. You've been through a lot this week and I bet you want to tend to your baby. So I'm going to let you go. Thank you very much for speaking with us. I'm so glad that we were able to reunite the two of you on the phone just now.

REECE: All right. Well, thank you and thank you again.

STEWART: It's my pleasure. You take care of your baby and take care of yourself.

REECE: All right. You guys take care out there.

STEWART: Will do.

NORRIS: That was Cynthia Reece of Warrensburg, Missouri and Sergeant Williams Stewart of the Missouri National Guard.

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