A six-year-old girl who learned how to deliver a baby from watching TV’s Casualty has been hailed a hero after she delivered her own sister when her mum went into labour in the bathroom.
Francesca Goodby calmly talked her mum Kay, 28, through the sudden birth after her waters broke.
The youngster helped her panicking mum with her breathing, encouraging her to push, fetched her clean towels and even made sure the umbilical cord was not wrapped round the baby’s head.
Incredibly, Francesca leapt into action after remembering an episode of Casualty when a woman suddenly went into labour.
After 12 minutes pushing, Francesca successfully delivered 6lbs 8oz bouncing baby Roisin on July 17 this year.
Dad Michael, 33, missed the drama because he was downstairs on the phone to the emergency services when Kay went into labour.
But when two ambulances arrived, paramedics were stunned to find little Francesca holding her newborn sister after she had carefully wrapped her in a towel.
Proud mum Kay said: “I was so impressed with Francesca.
“She was remarkably cool and collected for a six-year-old. She had gone to bed but woke up when I started screaming.
“She came in and was like ‘mummy are you okay?’ and said ‘I can see the head’.
“She was keeping me calm and telling me where to put my hands and telling me to keep breathing.
“And as soon as she was born she got a towel and it was like she knew what to do, I didn’t say anything to her.
“Francesca had her wrapped up and made sure the cord wasn’t wrapped around her neck.
“My husband was downstairs on the phone for 12 minutes and a few minutes after she was born two ambulances turned up.
“They were shocked that Francesca was holding her in towels.
“I used to watch One Born Every Minute but I never watched that with Francesca.
“But she watches Casualty and that’s the only thing that I can think of. I was really surprised that she knew what to do and was so calm.
“We watched Casualty last week where a lady gave birth with no help and she was like ‘that’s your story mummy’.”
Shop assistant Kay, who lives with Michael and their two daughters in Bearwood, Birmingham, started having contractions every 20 minutes on July 16 this year.
The following day she went into the birthing centre she had chosen but she was discharged because she was only in the early stages of labour.
Once at home, Kay called her midwife ten times to say her contractions were stronger and lasting longer – but was told her labour wasn’t advanced because she could speak normally.
At around 9.30pm, the mum noticed she was bleeding but amazingly, the birthing centre told her they would probably discharge her if she came in again.
Finally, just before 10pm on July 17, Kay’s waters broke after she went to the toilet.
Her screaming woke up six-year-old Francesca – who came to her mum’s aide as dad Michael went downstairs to call 999.
The delivery took just ten minutes after Kay’s waters broke and after an overnight stay in hospital, the mum and baby Roisin were discharged.
Francesca, who wants to be a doctor when she grows up, said: “I had to keep mummy calm.
“I didn’t want the cord to be wrapped around her neck because she might have died and I held her when she was born to keep her safe.
“I don’t know how I knew about it but I do watch Casualty and like it a lot.
“My friends at school all said ‘wow’ and my teacher was really impressed with me.
“She (Roisin) is nearly four months now so will be eating some proper food soon.”
Mum Kay added: “The next day Francesca went to school and proudly told everyone how she helped deliver her baby sister.
“Michael and I are so proud of her and we can’t wait to tell Roisin, when she’s older, how her sister helped bring her into the world.”
Unlucky shop assistant Michael also missed Francesca’s birth because of work commitments.
Kay said: “He had to go somewhere to do with his work.
“I had just gave birth to Francesca and he turned up, he just missed it.
“I don’t think it really matters to him, he probably would have fainted like you see men do on the telly.”