Columbia woman gives birth in hospital lobby with help of hospital employees

Updated: Jan. 13, 2017 at 9:49 PM EST
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(Source: Sam Bleiweis/WIS)
(Source: Sam Bleiweis/WIS)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - What do a pharmacy tech, a cook, and a newborn baby have in common? Well, not much - but they do share a remarkable Friday the 13th experience that had everyone at Lexington Medical Center talking Friday.

And it all started before the sun even came up on Friday morning. For two Lexington Medical Center employees, it was shaping up to be like any other day.

Jennifer Bandy, a cafe cook, and Yolanda Butler, a pharmacy tech both work in Lexington Medical Park 1, which has doctor's offices that patients visit during regular business hours. It's on the opposite side of the hospital campus from the emergency room.

"I was expecting to make pancakes and eggs this morning," Bandy said.

That circumstance - on a day that superstition tells us generally only offers tragedies - made way for a miracle.

"I ran and I just yelled 'Help! Help!' until I finally found somebody," said Serenity's father. Byron Stewart. "We were supposed to go to Baptist, oh Lord - we didn't make it."

Danielle Tilson was not only in labor, and the couple racing to the hospital, but baby Serenity was not going to wait for mom to make it there. Tilson was supposed to deliver at Palmetto Health Baptist in downtown Columbia.

"The head was out, and he was holding her head and he looked at me and he was like 'I can't do this,'" Butler said.

Danielle barely made it through the doors and into a lobby chair.

"As soon as I got to the double doors my water broke, and it wasn't two minutes before she was out," Tilson said.

"I just dropped my purse and I just stepped in," Butler said. "I held the baby and she finished pushing the baby out. I was just reassuring Mom that everything was OK."

Yolanda delivered and Jennifer assisted - grabbing anything she could to help. Delivered in a hospital lobby, Serenity lived up to her name.

Taking her first few hours on earth by storm - Serenity is just beginning to open her eyes as the commotion continues to swirl around her, with two new friends, her parents vow that she will know.

"It was a combination, a pharmacy technician, and a cook, yes it was," Bandy said.

Danielle has had three other children - she says none of her other deliveries were this exciting.

She and Byron said they already had the name Serenity picked before she was delivered. They're hoping she's their "peaceful" child, even though they're not quite convinced of that.

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