Woman Delivers Baby In Hospital Parking Garage

"Early labor."

That's what Tameka Cooper's doctor told her during what would be her final prenatal appointment last Monday afternoon and advised her to head straight to the hospital. But as it turned out, Cooper would never quite make it.

Although the Magee, Mississippi soon-to-be-mom took her doctor's advice and hopped in the car right away, on the way, things took a dramatic turn. By the time she pulled into the parking garage of Forrest General Hospital's Family Birth Place in Hattiesburg, she was in active labor.

That didn't stop her from trying to make it into the hospital.

Although she was in intense pain, Cooper still managed to exit her vehicle and walk a couple of steps towards the entrance. But she soon realized she wasn't going to make it.

“I tried to walk, but the pain was unbearable," she said. "By the time I walked one step, my water broke and out she came."

Fortunately, Cooper wasn't alone. Hattiesburg resident Ricky Brown was standing outside the Family Birth Place with his son-in-law when he heard Cooper's calls for help. By the time he reached her, he realized what was happening and sent his son-in-law to fetch a doctor.

"I saw that her water broke," he said. "The baby was coming out, and I could see her head. That’s when I knew I needed to find somewhere for [her] to lay down."

Brown helped Cooper - who had just delivered her baby in the parking garage - to his car and eased her inside so she could lay down. Fortunately, doctors and nurses arrived within seconds and were able to take over.

Baby Jermia - who was a little too eager to make her grand entrance - weighed in at 7 pounds 7 ounces and despite her speedy debut, was completely fine, along with her mom. Brown, the good Samaritan who saved the day for the new family, even got a chance to visit with mom and baby shortly afterwards.


Rapid births like little Jermia's are rare, but not unheard of. There have been several stories in recent months about new parents welcoming their bundles in less-than-ideal situations, like the wife of late-night talk show host Seth Meyers, who ended up delivering their son in the lobby of the couple's New York City apartment building.

Fortunately for Cooper and tiny Jermia, staff were standing by that day.

"You never know what you’re responding to when someone calls for help," said Madelyn Trosclair, a registered nurse at Forrest General. "We deliver babies - wherever and whenever they come."

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