A beautiful baby girl who announced her arrival into the world in dramatic circumstances at a petrol station in North County Dublin has returned to the Topaz site two weeks later to meet staff who were on duty that night.
Amy Balfe and her partner Thomas Donnery were en route to the Rotunda Hospital from their home in Rush when Amy felt a call of nature and asked Thomas to pull into the Topaz site at Lissenhall, Swords just off the M1 motorway.
Neither had any idea of how close Amy was to giving birth and it was only after visiting the ladies that Amy realised she had reached the point of no return. While Thomas ran to the counter to ask staff for a phone to ring the emergency services, Amy gave birth to baby Katie. Luckily both mum and 7lb 13oz baby Katie were fine. Thomas stayed on the phone to paramedics until the emergency services arrived a short time later while site staff provided support.
It transpired later that Amy had chosen a good place to stop off. The petrol station is where Amy had her first job – she worked there for four years – and because of that and the fact she was a regular customer, she knew some of the staff on duty.
Twenty eight year old Amy, who was 40 weeks pregnant, at the time described what happened on that evening in mid November: “I began feeling contractions around 5.30pm. I talked to my mum and the hospital and we decided to head to the Rotunda around 7.45. I thought I just needed to go to the loo but once I was in Topaz I couldn’t move. Then it all happened so quickly and Katie popped out after just two pushes. It was just unbelievable.”
When searching for a gift for baby Katie, Topaz staff at the site discovered that the birthstone for November was Topaz! Presenting Katie with a necklace and bracelet with Topaz stones, Frank Gleeson, retail director, said he and everyone at the company was thrilled for all the family.
“The most important thing is that both mum and baby are well and we are delighted to welcome Katie back here today with Amy and Thomas,” he said. “Amy was extremely brave throughout this ordeal and ably supported by a very calm Thomas and the staff here at the site, everything went as smoothly as possible.”
Amy said she would especially like to thank all the staff at Topaz Westview for their help as well as members of the Fire and Ambulance services who were so professional in their response.