03/08/2018 10:45 BST

Quick-Thinking Dad Uses Apple Earphones To Tie Newborn's Umbilical Cord

'It all happened so quickly.'

A quick-thinking dad delivered his daughter at home on the bathroom floor using Apple earphones to tie off the baby’s umbilical cord.

Richard Cox, 31, helped his wife Hayley give birth to early arrival Emilie, crediting staff from the Scottish Ambulance Service with saving her life.

His wife had gone into labour at night and before he had the chance to dial for an ambulance she’d been born. On phoning the Scottish Ambulance Service, the call-handler gave him instructions to cut the umbilical cord there and then.

Richard, from Dunfermline, Fife, had nothing else on hand other than his headphones, so he used the wire to tie the cord.

Emilie with dad Richard Cox in hospital.

The bank worker said he was grateful for the help of the emergency services when Emilie arrived: “It all happened so quickly – my wife went into labour late at night and before I had time to dial for an ambulance she’d been born.

“After Emilie arrived, I rang 999 and the call-handler said I needed to find a bit of string – such as a shoelace – to tie up the umbilical cord.

“The only thing I could find was my iPhone earphones – I tied them to the cord and it was fine. The call taker deserves all the credit.”

He continued: “All while this happened, she was asking, is the baby breathing; Is the baby okay? With all the noise in the background, she could have lost her cool as well.

“We had it in our mind that the child was not going to be breathing.

“All the actions of the Scottish Ambulance Service ensured that our little girl survived and I can never thank them enough.”

Tying the umbilical cord is vital to ensuring a newborn’s survival, preventing the mum and the baby from developing a potentially deadly infection. 

Emilie Cox in hospital

The couple were at their Rosyth home, near Dunfermline, when Hayley started to experience ‘intense’ pain which lasted about 45 minutes. It was the beginning of January and the baby was not due until February 27.

Stay-at-home mum Hayley, 32, was in the bathroom when she called out for her husband, while their two-year-old son Liam slept in the other room.

Richard, who has general first aid experience, recalled: “She said ’can you come to the bathroom?′ Within a few minutes, I had our baby in my hands. My wife then said you need to phone 999.”

The emergency call was taken by Jodie Craig and an ambulance was dispatched by Supervisor, Lynne Walker. Emilie was born on January 8 at 1.25am, weighing 3Ibs 14oz.

An ambulance crew manned by student technician Scott Pimbert and paramedic team leader Mark Crawford quickly arrived at the couple’s address.

Emilie at home after six months.

Richard said: “They walked in the house when everything was so calm. One of the guys said that out of all the homes where babies have been delivered they have never been to one where it was so calm.

“Everyone played their part, from the call taker to the paramedics.

“The ambulance service has an overwhelming job and they are all heroes. If we were in another country, if we didn’t have the NHS, she might not be here today.”

Six months on from the birth, the family says Emilie is doing really well and now weighs 16lbs 12oz.