Four Glen Innes doctors helped resolve a once-in-a-decade health emergency.

Emily-Rose Hawksworth with little Jack Jones, who is lucky to be alive.

Emily-Rose Hawksworth with little Jack Jones, who is lucky to be alive.

A Tenterfield mum says her baby boy wouldn't be alive without the hard work of the Glen Innes obstetrics team.

A local doctor says the case highlights the continuing and compelling need for local maternity services for emergencies like this one.

"My son wouldn't be alive if we had to travel any further is the reality of it I think. That's a scary thought to think about, but I guess it's what it is," the mum said.

"It's a while any which way you go."


Emily-Rose Hawksworth, from Tenterfield, knew she'd have a tough pregnancy. Jack Jones was going to have a breach with cord prolapse, which basically means his bottom was going to block the escape route, create pressure on the umbilical cord and cut off his source of oxygen.

She was scheduled for a cesarean section at 40 weeks.

In week 39 crisis struck. On January 17, she woke up in Tenterfield with slight contractions. She was already planning to head to Armidale for a checkup that day, but doctors recommended she stop in Glen Innes hospital for a checkup.

"My waters broke during that check," she said.

"If I had gone to Armidale it would have been too late."

It was an hour and a twenty minutes between the first contraction and the birth. It would have been too late for a helicopter or ambulance to evacuate her from the Tenterfield hospital, which doesn't have an obstetrics service.

Four doctors, GP-anaesthest Ross Haron, GP-obstetrician Correy, GP-obstetrician Alshaklee and GP-registrar White, with midwife Hayley Cox and a total team of ten dealt with the emergency that day.

She was rushed into theater and the trio were able to deliver the baby through c-section then and there. A death or brain injury was averted.

"It's amazing to have a team of GPs who can do that," said Dr White, who was the observing GP.

"Most towns wouldn't have that. It's amazing to have in a small town the capacity to have half the town's GPs present to perform an emergency Cesarean, within a very short period of time.

"Normally this sort of operation would be done by a referral hospital at least if not a tertiary hospital, but it's great that our town has that capacity.

"We should be very proud that this was done here in Glen Innes".

"It was a traumatic morning," said Dr Phil Correy.

"The baby actually did remarkably well once we'd finished the procedure. It was quite flat at birth but after we did resuscitation it did remarkably well and we were able to manage him in Glen Innes,"

In 30 years in Glen Innes he's seen three cord prolapses. The second left the child brain damaged, and it died early in life.

"The result was no-where as good as this one."

"I get one every ten years. Hopefully I don't get a fourth one."

Ms Hawksworth said she is doing well health-wise now, as is her baby little Jack.