Eamonn OKane: Former champion boxer helps deliver his daughter

Eamonn OKane: Former champion boxer helps deliver his daughter

Champion boxers are used to the big events, but delivering a baby was one former fighter’s toughest bout yet.

The arrival of Hollie Grace O’Kane, weighing in at nine pounds four and half ounces, almost left retired boxer Eamonn O’Kane on the canvas.

Eamonn and wife Nicola were waiting on ambulance crews last Friday after she went into labour.

But the former middle weight champion had to step into the maternity ring to help deliver the new bundle of joy.

In his boxing days, the former middleweight champion was known as Eamonn “King” O’Kane, but to his wife Nicola he is now Eamonn “The Midwife” O’Kane.

“I was very nervous, and that is putting it lightly,” the Commonwealth gold winning athlete told BBC News NI.

Nicola had just been to a routine hospital appointment, but had started to feel “short, sore niggles” when arriving back to the house in Feeney, County Londonderry.

Initially the couple thought this was just a reaction to treatment, but it soon transpired that she was going into labour.

The call went out for a community midwife, but about nine minutes after the call was made “the niggles” got a lot stronger and they were instructed to get to Altnagelvin Hospital.

“We tried to get Nicola out into the car, but she couldn’t get in.

“I then called 999 and Joanne, who was on the phone, was absolutely brilliant.

“I was told to get towels, get Nicola comfortable and she [Joanne the emergency call handler] was keeping me informed about where the ambulance was.

“It was nerve-wracking. I am a typical man and I don’t know anything about what happens,” Eamonn said.

However, as the couple waited for the ambulance Eamonn and Nicola were dealt a sucker punch when they saw the ambulance going past their house and down the wrong lane.

“The sat-nav doesn’t take you to my house and I was left trying to describe down the phone where we were so that Joanne could tell the ambulance where to go.

“By the time they got up to us the baby was just coming out.

“It was a crazy, surreal experience and I am glad to say I delivered my daughter.”

“He was cool and calm and just did everything they said on the phone,” Nicola said.

“By the time they [the ambulance crews] got here, round the back door and up the stairs the baby’s head was out and they took over the responsibility, but they still gave him a good role.”

“He was very heroic and I am so proud of him,” the now mother of four added.

The family praised the work of Joanne and the ambulance crew and said her brothers are absolutely delighted they have a baby sister just in time for Santa’s arrival.

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