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College student delivers baby, saves man’s life in separate emergencies

College student helps deliver baby and saves man’s life

FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISH) — It’s been anything but an ordinary past few months for Franklin College junior Emma McLeish.

The student at the private liberal arts college south of Indianapolis in Johnson County was babysitting for a family friend at the end of the July when that friend went into labor. “She was coming home from the grocery store and called me and said that her water broke.”

McLeish, an exercise science major, already knew what to do. Her mom is a nurse and prepped her for the possibility that this family friend could go into labor.

“She pushed for like 10 minutes maybe, and the baby was out, and I stimulated the baby to cry and start breathing, and I put her on mom’s chest.”

Emma’s foresight and preparedness helped bring a life into the world, and it also helped save a life.

Earlier in October, while working at Mount Pleasant Christian Church, a man went into cardiac arrest. McLeish used an automated external defibrillator to stabilize him. “I shocked him once, and then EMTs got there and they shocked him I think a few more times, and then they got a pulse and rushed him to the hospital.”

Emma said she used a special mask in her car that she placed on the patient. “It’s a mask and it has a valve, so the hospital took my mask with them because they connected an air bag with it.”

McLeish had to take an CPR class as part of her curriculum, but she said all students should take it voluntarily because no one knows when such knowledge may needed in a medical emergency.

She said she was scared while handling both emergencies: “I was, but a lot of people were telling me I’m very calm in emergency situations.”

Emma says she’s considering a career in pediatrics or emergency care.

The baby and mom are well, and the man who suffered the heart attack has left a hospital.