Meadow Well dad hailed a hero after delivering his baby at home on living room floor; Charlie Willcocks brought little Teighlun into the world after his partner went into labour in their Meadow Well home.
A dad has been hailed a hero after helping to deliver his own baby on his living room floor.
Mum Kirsty Reynolds went into labour in the early hours of January 10. She started having strong contractions and her waters broke while she was at her home in West Percy Road, Meadow Well.
The family called the ambulance service and paramedics arrived at the scene 43 minutes later. By then baby Teighlun was born into the arms of his dad Charlie Willcocks, weighing around 5lb 9oz.
The child, however, was not breathing and his parents had to revive him.
Kirsty, 26, said: "I started having Braxton Hicks contractions the previous evening but they were not progressing into anything and were irregular. A few hours later, they started getting stronger and I went into labour very quickly.
"I rang Wansbeck Hospital and they asked if I could organise transport to go there. I told them I wouldn't make it. I was in the act of labour and was told to ring for an ambulance.
"I squatted on the floor in the sitting room. Charlie was running back and forth getting towels until I told him the head was coming out and he needed to catch the baby."
Charlie, who says his only training in childbirth was watching Channel 4's One Born Every Minute, said: "I went to get towels when Kirsty said his head was out. I remember saying I didn't know how to catch him and she said just catch him as his head comes out.
"She was pushing and pushing and he came out in my arms and I wrapped him up. But he was not breathing. His legs and face started to go blue.
"I started rubbing on his chest. I was very scared and emotional, I was crying my eyes out. I thought he was dead."
The family say they rang the ambulance service four times. During once call, they were told to put their fingers in the baby's mouth to clear his airways. Kirsty did this but there was no reaction. Little Teighlun then started to choke and brought up mucus.
Charlie, 24, said: "He suddenly started breathing and we felt such huge relief. I couldn't believe it."
The couple, who have five other children - Skye, nine, Shanae, eight, Charlie, six, Irelyn, five, and one-year-old Larae-Esmae - feel paramedics should have arrived sooner.
Kirsty said: "The first call we made to the ambulance service was to say I was in labour, the second to say my waters had broken, the third said I had the urge to push and the last call was to say the baby was born and not breathing.
"I understand that there are pressures on the service but this was a very traumatic time for us, especially as our baby was not initially breathing. I was classed as a high-risk pregnancy because I had pre-eclampsia with two of my other children. Anything could have happened to Teighlun. They should have been there quicker.
"On top of that, there was a lack of communication within the service. When the paramedics arrived they were shocked to see a baby. They thought they were coming to give me CPR.
"We are still in shock ourselves. I don't want this to happen to anyone else."
A spokesman from the North East Ambulance Service said: "We were first called at 00.49am on January 10 to reports of a woman going into labour. The call was classified as non-life-threatening. An ambulance arrived 43 minutes later.
"Based on the family's concerns raised, our clinical department will now undergo a full investigation of the case."
Charlie, who used to work for a laundry service and is negotiating new hours with the firm to fit in with childcare arrangements, has been praised for his actions.
He attends the Canny Dads group, funded by Isos Housing, at the Phoenix Detached Youth Project, in Chirton.
Mike Burgess, from the project, said: "Being a dad myself, I'm absolutely amazed at what Charlie did. It must have been a very traumatic time for him and he should be very proud of himself."