December 5 2013 Latest news:
Chloë Mayer, Senior Reporter
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
A Hackney bus driver had an “unbelievable” journey when he was forced to pull over to help a woman give birth in the back of his bus during the rush hour.
Quick-thinking Vently Hewitt got on board with the unusual circumstances after one of his passengers went into labour just after 5.30pm in Lower Clapton Road on Thursday, August 2.
The 47-year-old pulled over the 106 and called an ambulance after hearing the woman’s screams.
“I was quite concerned because the woman seemed very upset,” Vently said. “When the paramedic arrived, he was by himself so I had to help him get his equipment out of his car while he was with the passenger.
“I did whatever the paramedic asked me, but apart from that I didn’t want to intervene too much in such a private moment.”
Vently escorted about 20 passengers from the bus, but two women passengers stayed to help out – and the new mum delivered a baby boy just 25 minutes later at 6pm.
Although mum and baby were taken to Homerton Hospital as a precautionary measure, both were said to be doing well.
Vently, who lives in Lewisham and has been a bus driver for 12 years, said acting as an honorary midwife was a career first and added: “I saw him after he was born and he was a nice little boy. I was just surprised that it had all happened so quickly. It was unbelievable.”
Vently drove back to the bus garage for a quick break but then headed out to finish his shift.
“I didn’t really think about it until later, but it was a special moment and it was a day I’ll never forget,” he said.
It’s only the third time a baby has been born on a London bus – and there must be something in the water because 37-year-old Emiloju Fatima Lawal had her son on the 394 en route to Homerton Hospital in 2009. She called her baby Olatidebe but gave him the middle name Dennis, after the bus manufacturer.
Another baby was born on the 145 route in Dagenham last year.
Leon Daniels, managing director for surface transport of Transport for London, congratulated the new mum and said: “Mr Hewitt went above and beyond the call of duty and all credit to him for ensuring that all passengers were ok and assisting the paramedic with the delivery.”
• The Gazette wants to speak to the new mum or one of the passengers who helped delivered the baby. Call reporter Chloe on 020 8477 3774.