Newham’s ‘miracle’ Google birth mum thanks shopping mall security team
A young mum who gave birth in the middle of a busy shopping complex has been back to thank security staff who delivered her baby – with the help of Google.
Newham schoolteacher Daphne Bolus and her church pastor husband Tim returned to Canary Wharf on Friday, one week on, to meet the security team who made sure little Matthew John arrived in the world safe and sound.
The couple from Manor Park also met staff from Canary Wharf’s Waitrose store who had rushed out to help.
Daphne suddenly went into labour outside the store. An ambulance was called—but got stuck in evening rush-hour traffic.
So security personnel began without them, with hospital medics giving advice over the phone.
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One guard went onto Google on his iPod looking up websites to find out how to deliver a baby.
Daphne, 29, who teaches at Manor Park’s London Christian Learning Centre’s school in Romford Road, had earlier walked into the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel with her husband after her waters broke, with the impending arrival of their second child.
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The Rev Tim Bolus, 27, said: “We were told she hadn’t dilated enough and would have to wait for stronger contractions. The hospital advised us to go home and return later.”
But it was too far to go back home to Manor Park, so they went to Canary Wharf instead to have a meal—that’s when the drama unfolded.
“Daphne suddenly felt an urge to push—the baby was coming,” Tim recalled.
“She said she couldn’t hold it. So security guards set up a rail with curtains in front of Waitrose while we waited for an ambulance.”
But the ambulance was held up in traffic gridlock. So store manager Mike Buckingham and his staff rushed out with a duvet, pillows, towels and blankets—just in time for the birth. Three ambulances finally arrived 15 minutes later!
The baby’s surprise arrival was like a ‘Christmas miracle’ for the pastor who leads Manor Park’s Agape Christian Fellowship congregation.
“It was God’s time for the baby to be born,” Tim reflected. “We gave thanks for the people involved in the birth of our son who were there for us at the right time. It showed the people of east London as a community.”
Daphne was kept in hospital overnight. The couple returned to their home in Romford Road the next day—to be greeted by Tim’s parents, aunt, uncle brother, two sisters, brother-in-law, two sisters and all their children.
“The house was packed,” he added. “We also got messages from the congregation on Sunday—many thought I was joking when I told them about the birth.”
Canary Wharf Group and Waitrose gave the couple Christmas gift vouchers when they returned on Friday with the seven-day-old baby and his older brother Ethen, aged two-and-a-half.
Little Ethen’s comment when told of his baby brother’s sudden arrival: “Oh my gosh!”