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Girl, 11, praised for bravery after helping to deliver mum's baby in bath tub

Sarah Cox, 30, with daughter Shannon, 11, and son Riley Credit: Welsh Ambulance Service

An 11-year-old schoolgirl has been praised for her bravery after helping to deliver her mum's baby in a bath tub.

Sarah Cox, 30, was a week overdue when she suddenly went into labour in the bathroom of her family home in Argoed, Caerphilly during the early hours of the morning on March 4th.

With Sarah’s husband Wayne at work, she woke her daughter Shannon who rushed into action by dialling 999.

Quick-thinking Shannon carried out the instructions given to her over the phone by ambulance call handler Danielle Burrows, and within minutes had successfully delivered her baby brother right there in the bath.

Shannon then gathered towels to wrap the baby in and even used a shoe lace to tie the umbilical cord, before unlocking the front door and flagging down the ambulance crew.

As a reward for her bravery, she was allowed to choose her brother’s name, and decided to call him Riley Henry James.

Sarah said: “I started having one or two little pains, nothing major, then went to run a bath and that’s when my waters went."

Shannon and my two younger ones were home. I woke her up and she phoned for the ambulance, and gave them the details.

They did ask me to get out of the bath, but I couldn’t manage it so she followed all the instructions they gave her over the phone and before I knew it I’d given birth.

She did brilliantly, she didn’t question anything and she just got on with it. The team that came were also brilliant and they couldn't praise her enough for what she did.

– Sarah Cox

Shannon has been presented with a framed certificate by the Welsh Ambulance Service staff, who wanted to recognise her for acting so quickly and maturely.

Welsh Ambulance service staff present Shannon with a certificate Credit: Welsh Ambulance Service

Danielle, who has helped to deliver six babies over the phone during her two-and-a-half years with the ambulance service, said: “She was as good as gold throughout the entire call. She did everything I asked her to and whenever I asked how her mum was doing she let me know."

Danielle Burrows, from the Welsh Ambulance Service, stayed on the phone to Shannon throughout the birth until paramedics arrived Credit: Welsh Ambulance Service

I can remember speaking to her and I could hear Sarah in the background so I was talking to them both, but obviously she had to do a lot of work in preparing her mum for birth.

There was a lot of commotion, then the next thing I know her mum is on the phone saying the baby’s been delivered and Shannon then had to go and get everything ready.

– Danielle Burrows, Welsh Ambulance Service

Sarah, who also has two daughters and a son, said Shannon and three-month-old Riley have developed a special bond.

She said: “She can’t do enough for him and the first thing she does is check if he’s okay. She’s so loving towards him."

I don’t think Shannon realises just how important what she did was. The only thing she says when people ask her is ‘That’s what the midwives do’, as if it was nothing.

We’ve also chipped in and bought her a little trophy because we can’t thank her enough.

– Sarah Cox, Shannon's mum