Truck drivers Peter Holland and Fred Robatcek are being hailed as “angels” after helping a woman deliver her baby boy at a Denny’s in Texarkana, Ark., over Thanksgiving weekend.
The mother of the boy, Kaycee Triana, was in Arkansas visiting her family, when she went into labor early in the morning on Nov. 30. Her older sister drove to a local Denny’s where their mom worked to pick her up on the way to the hospital, but the baby couldn’t wait that long.
“Basically, I just tried to get myself in there to the Denny’s,” she said. “Once I made it onto the carpet, I’m just screaming for help and for a moment everybody was standing there. What I had to do for somebody to realize this baby’s here is just to drop my pants. They said they saw the head and they came running over to lay me down and that’s about as much as I can remember before I started delivering.”
Holland, a Canadian driver for Challenger, and Robatcek of St. Cloud, Minn., and a driver for FTC Transportation, were the first two people in the crowded restaurant to come over and help, according to Kaycee’s mother, Suzanne Nettles.
“They’re angels in my book,” Nettles said. “I wanted them to know that they’re angels to me. My oldest daughter just started at Denny’s about a month ago so she’s still new to everything, and she said ‘Mama, I just gained a whole new respect for the truck drivers.’”
Nettles, who was just getting off work on the graveyard shift at the restaurant, had proceeded straight to the hospital after the girls called from the house to tell her about Kaycee’s labor pains. The miscommunication resulted in Nettles missing the actual birth, but she said she did get to watch the store’s surveillance video footage, which captured the event.
“Even though I wasn’t there, I did get to see the whole thing on camera. The two truck drivers, you can see … one of them is sitting at the counter, and I don’t know where the other one came from,” she said. “But the guy sitting at the counter jumped up and immediately jumped in like it was second nature. Like he’d done it a million times before.”
The baby boy, who checked in at 10 pounds, 4 ounces, is in good health other than some glucose issues common in children born that size. Both Nettles and her daughter said there was a scare initially when the umbilical cord became wrapped around the boy’s throat during the birth.
“One of the truck drivers said ‘You need to push now!’ and I guess that was because of the umbilical cord being wrapped around his neck,” Triana said. “I didn’t even know that until after we got into the ambulance.”
“He was blue and not breathing,” Nettles said. “So, of course that scared everybody. But their calmness was amazing. When you sit and watch the video, they were like pros. At the moment the baby came out … one of the truck drivers took his jacket off and wrapped the baby in it.”
Robatcek has reportedly stayed in touch with the family, but Kaycee said her thanks go out to both men.
“I was just grateful that they were there to help. Thanks for being there and for staying calm and for helping. Those were the only two people that ran over there to lay me down and to help. They’re my angels.”