“You know I love doing what I do. I love taking care of mothers and babies and you really a lot of doctors are always thinking of their patients even when they’re a patient themselves,” Doctor Hess was quoted in a WKYT report. “I just put on another gown to cover up my backside and put on some boots over my shoes, to keep from getting any fluid and all that stuff on me, and went down to her room and I knew her.”
Hess was assisting patient Leah Halliday Johnson, who was fully dilated and screaming her lungs out, according to the report. The doctor on call was on his way back to the hospital after being on break, and Hess believed there was no time to waste, so she started to help deliver Johnson’s baby.
Hess noticed that Johnson was one of the patients she had seen days before for a checkup, and Johnson was relieved when she saw her as she knew she’d be able to hurry up and deliver the baby. After Hess delivered the baby, she soon gave birth to her own child, a baby girl named Ellen Joyce.
Johnson reportedly said of Hess that she had seen her three or four times and “I like her a lot.” She was impressed that she had taken time to help deliver her baby when she was about to give birth herself.
In fact, Hess was being induced into labor at the time, but when she heard of the predicament, she immediately put on a pair of boots and donned a hospital gown. Johnson didn’t know Hess was in labor herself, and said she was professional the whole time.
Hess started having contractions soon after delivering Johnson’s baby.
“I had actually taken a call the day before, so I thought really that I was working up to the last minute. But this was literally ’til the last second,” she reportedly said.
While Hess and Johnson haven’t spoken since the incident, Johnson said she’s grateful for Hess’ actions. Hess, for her part, insisted she was simply doing her job.
“Delivering other peoples’ babies is something I do every day. And I’m more comfortable with delivering someone else’s baby than my own, for sure,” she said.
Here’s how Frankfort Regional Medical Center describes itself on its website:
Frankfort Regional Medical Center is a 173-bed acute care facility that has received numerous awards and accolades for its quality of care, including Magnet designation for nursing excellence. Accredited by The Joint Commission, the hospital is conveniently located off I-64 in Central Kentucky approximately 50 miles from Louisville and 30 miles from Lexington.
At Frankfort Regional Medical Center, our focus is simple – putting Patients First. We have embraced this philosophy by focusing on patient care practices and new technology, keeping patient safety a top priority. At Frankfort Regional, you’re going to be treated as an individual, with compassion and care, like one of the family. Our Patients First approach is clear…excellent service, every patient, every time.