Samuel Ward Academy was just 35 minutes or so away from having what could have been its first birth on the premises after a student’s mum went into labour at its awards evening.
On Tuesday, December 17, Billieann Monk went to the school with daughter Jade, 16, to see her and other students who graduated in the summer recognised for their efforts.
Mrs Monk, from Church Park in Stoke by Clare, was due to give birth on December 23, so when her waters broke as she sat in the Drama Hall some quick-thinking was required.
The 36-year-old explained: “They took me to the toilets and that’s where I discovered I had meconium in my fluid, that’s why they phoned the ambulance.
“It can be quite dangerous, that’s why it was all a bit panicky and they didn’t want me to have it there.”
Mrs Monk was taken to the school office by Marian Merch-Chammon, PA to the school’s principal, Howard Lay, and Lisa Taylor, its marketing and communications officer.
Mrs Monk had already phoned husband Stan and told him ‘you’ve got to get here now, my waters have broken’ when Mrs Merch-Chammon took advice over the phone from a paramedic - advice that proved crucial.
Mrs Monk said: “I think if the ambulance people on the end of the phone had not told her to put me flat on my back I would have had it there because things slow down when you are on your back.”
The ambulance arrived and took Mrs Monk to West Suffolk Hospital where she gave birth to daughter Evie-Mae just 15 minutes after getting there.
Evie-Mae was six days early and weighed 6lb 6 ounces, but got a clean bill of health.
Mrs Monk added: “We were up there I suppose for 7.15pm. My waters broke as I got up to get out, probably about 8.15pm and I had her by 9.40pm.
“I think one of the teachers mentioned ‘if she has a little boy she would have to call it Samuel if it was born here’. I think they were very concerned it might happen.”
Evie-Mae is now ‘quite happy’ and at home with her mum, dad and sisters Jade, 16, Cerys, 14 and Roseanna, sev