Taxi drivers claim to have seen and heard it all, but for one cabbie, it was a first when a mum-to-be gave birth on his back seat!
Peter Wakefield dropped customer Val Kirby off at her daughter-in-law's house in Gateshead. But while he was parked outside, Val's son Steven Axelborough raced outside and begged Peter to take his partner, Faye Branighan to hospital as she was in labour.
The cabbie raced across town to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, but new arrival Lucas Jake was ready to arrive, and was born in the back of the 36-year-old's taxi in the hospital's car park.
"I just knew the baby was on its way, I could feel the head," mum of two Faye, 22, from Gateshead told Chronicle Live. "When we pulled up to the hospital I knew I wasn't going to make it inside.
"We had already rung the hospital to say we were on our way and the midwives were waiting outside, and then I just had him in the back of the taxi. I lost all dignity. I just couldn't believe it. I kept apologising to the taxi driver. I had been having pains since 4am but they didn't feel like contractions.
"When I got into the back of the taxi I needed to lie down. I just remember flying through the streets trying to get there. The journey just felt like the longest ever."
Cabbie Peter said he was expecting a normal fare when he picked up Val:
"The lady told me that we were going to her daughter's house, but when we arrived the son comes running out and asks me if I would take his wife to the Queen Elizabeth. So off we went, and about a minute into the journey she told that the head was there. I didn't believe her at first as my wife had a 12 hour labour, but when I looked back I couldn't believe it.
"So after breaking a few traffic laws we got to the Queen Elizabeth maternity doors and he was born right there in the back of my taxi at the door. I was standing with the father in total disbelief just looking at the back of my vehicle with the two back doors open and midwives and nurses everywhere.
"I thought I had seen it all in my taxi, but this takes the biscuit. When I went back and told the other drivers no one believed me."
Lucas Jake weighed in at 6lb, 10oz. The little lad and exhausted mum Faye were discharged from hospital just seven hours after the dramatic delivery.
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