LEE COUNTY, Fla. — One Charlotte County family experienced a Christmas miracle this year after their baby girl was born on the side of the road on the way to the hospital.
Weighing 7lbs and 3oz., Madilynne Ray-Ane Neal made her entrance into the world Christmas morning, becoming the Christmas gift her parents were not expecting just yet.
“We’re just in shock; we weren’t expecting her,” said Nissa Neal, mom.
At about 8 this morning, Nissa Neal says she began feeling contractions coming on quickly, even though she was not due for another week.
“I was like I think we need to go — like I’m pretty sure this is like for real,” said Nissa.
Nissa and her husband, Emanuel, rushed down route 41 from their Charlotte County home to Cape Coral Hospital, but with 20 minutes still to drive, they knew they wouldn't make it.
“I had to call 911 and pull over, they walked me through it,” said Emanuel Neal, dad.
Nissa’s water broke in the course of pulling over.
Guided by a 911-dispatcher, Emanuel sprung into action.
“They were like do you see a baby yet, I was like no, they were like grab a towel, a blanket, anything and I put it under," said Emanuel.
Within three minutes of pulling over, right there in their car, Emanuel helped deliver baby Madilynne.
“The baby came out and I wrapped her in it, but I had to keep her close that way the umbilical cord wouldn’t get ripped or torn,” said Emanuel.
Dad says he only had one thing on his mind the entire time.
“Hoping everything would be ok, just making sure I did everything right,” said Emanuel.
Lee County Paramedics arrived shortly after and took mom and the baby to Cape Coral Hospital.
“It was definitely a shocker, I never thought I would do that in my life,” said Emanuel.
Tonight, baby Madilynne Ray-Ane Neal is now the newest member of the family of nine, making her their seventh child.
“Great, amazed, the best gift you can get pretty much,” said Emanuel.
Mom says the family actually celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve because something in her told her that was a good idea, and sure enough it was.
Mom and baby Madilynne are in good health and are set to be released from Cape Coral Hospital in a couple of days.