By Sharon Boston, Media Relations Manager
Brad Jones noticed something unusual when he arrived home in Abingdon on the morning of Nov. 7 after an overnight shift as a computerized tomography (CT) tech at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center: His next-door neighbor, Matt Kulaga, was also pulling into his own driveway — not a typical thing at that hour when Matt would normally be at work.
Brad credits his training and experience at UMMC for helping him stay calm during the emergency that quickly unfolded.
“Is today the day?” Brad asked Matt, knowing that Matt’s wife, Emily, was expecting a baby at any time.
“I don’t know,” replied Matt. “Emily called me at work and said something is going on, so I am going to check on her.”
Brad said he’d wait by the car in case Matt and Emily needed anything. Soon Matt came back saying Emily could not get up. They both went back upstairs to find Emily on the bed ready to give birth.
“Emily, don’t push,” Brad told her.
“I can’t stop,” replied Emily.
Brad told Matt to call 911 and moved to the front of the bed to help Emily. The operators stayed on the line with Brad.
“Everyone was so calm, and the dispatchers talked me through the delivery. It was amazing,” says Brad, who has worked at UMMC for one year.
About seven minutes later, the Kulagas’ healthy daughter Aubree Mae was born. Paramedics arrived soon after.
Now, a month later, everyone is doing great. About a week after the birth, the Kulaga family and Brad met the dispatchers — one of whom was still in training — who helped them deliver the baby. They even got their picture in the local newspaper, and Fox 45 did a TV story on them.
At UMMC, Brad sees of hundreds patients in his job in radiology, but says he rarely has such a hands-on experience. He has an 18-year-old daughter of his own, but says she was born by C-section so he had never seen anyone give birth before.
So what does this hero neighbor think about his role in delivering his friends’ baby?
“The whole thing was just an awesome experience,” he said.