Jennie Trevithick gives birth in rescue helicopter over Scilly Isles

A mother has celebrated a special mid-air delivery after giving birth on board a rescue helicopter.

Jennie Trevithick, 41, was being airlifted to hospital by the coastguard chopper when her labour progressed faster than expected.

Before she could complete the journey from the Isles of Scilly to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, baby Ebbyn arrived right as they were coming in to land.

Now back home in St Mary’s, Jennie has praised everyone on board who helped to keep her safe and calm.

She told the BBC: “It was a surreal experience. I was holding the baby as we were landing and looked up and went ‘where are we? What is happening?’,”

“I just felt so safe, I couldn’t have wished for anything more.”

Jennie, a brewer, started feeling contractions on the evening of December 4 and went to the birth centre on St Mary’s with her partner, Hayden Simpson, 38.

When her waters broke, the midwife discovered meconium, the first feces of a newborn, which can cause of severe illness and even death if inhaled by the infant.

This meant Jennie’s labour was deemed an emergency. She was flown by helicopter to hospital, an 89km journey to the mainland.

Mothers on the Isles of Scilly, an ‘island paradise’ off the British coast, are often flown when there are possible complications that may need additional medical support not available on the remote islands.

Ebbyn now joins a select group of Scillonians born on the coastguard helicopter, including Torran in 2018 and Marcus in 2013.

(Jennie Trevithick/BBC/ SWNS)

Jennie added: “In my first pregnancy, with my daughter, I was also flown out and when I found out the helicopter was on its way the contractions stopped and everything.

“But with this one, I could hear the helicopter getting closer but there was no sign of anything slowing down.”

When on board, she said the situation progressed swiftly.

She recalled: “I knew we hadn’t landed yet and I reached down to feel the head and I was like ‘OK’.”

It took five hours from the contractions starting to the baby being born just after 2am on December 5.

Jennie added it was a “perfect” experience and she was grateful to the helicopter crew and the midwife who travelled with her.

She said: “I would love to say thank you to all of them. They were all amazingly supportive.

“Everyone said it must have been so scary being in a helicopter but actually I felt super safe – I was in the best place possible.

“I couldn’t have wished for anything more.”

After landing, partner Hayden cut the cord and the trio were transferred to the Royal Cornwall Hospital.

They left later that day before travelling back to the Isles of Scilly.

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