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Dr. Amanda Hess

FRANKFORT, Kentucky, August 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — An obstetrician in Kentucky was waiting to give birth to her own baby when she came to the aid of another woman in the ward.

Dr. Amanda Hess, 38, had checked into the Frankfort Regional Medical Center to give birth to her second child through induced labor when she heard a woman crying in pain. Hess discovered that both the expectant mother and her unborn baby were in distress and that the on-call obstetrician had left the hospital on break before they arrived. Undressed and in an open-backed hospital gown, Hess tied on another gown to “cover up [her] backside” and came to the rescue.

Hess recognized the patient, Leah Halliday-Johnston, as she had performed her last prenatal examination earlier that week. The unborn baby’s heartbeat was dangerously low and her umbilical cord was loosely tied around her neck, so there was no time to wait for the on-call doctor, still 10 minutes away. Hess stayed to deliver the baby. The on-call doctor arrived shortly afterward and took it from there.


“You know I love doing what I do,” Hess told Kentucky’s WKYT news. “I love taking care of mothers and babies and … really a lot of doctors are always thinking of their patients even when they're a patient themselves.”  

“[Hess] was definitely in doctor mode,” Halliday-Johnson, also 38, later told NBC. “My husband noticed something was going on because she had on a hospital gown, but I didn’t notice that because I was on the delivery table. I was in my own world there.”

Halliday-Johnston gave birth to a baby girl, her fourth child. The next morning at 9:30, Hess gave birth to her own baby girl, whom she named Ellen Joyce.

The events unfolded on July 23-24. Since then, the story has caught the attention of American media, with publications as disparate as People and The Washington Post publishing their versions.