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Family says they were turned away from hospital, baby born at gas station

Family says they were turned away from hospital, baby born at gas station
Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 9:55 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 29, 2022 at 4:19 PM EDT
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CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - A baby boy in Bridgeton made an unconventional entrance to the world, but his mother says the traumatic birth event could have been avoided.

“Without a doubt, she was in labor,” said the baby’s father. “Anybody could tell that.”

Lauren and Steve Banks were ready to bring their son into the world. At 39 weeks pregnant and contracting, the parents headed to CarolinaEast Medical Center for delivery.

“She was denied admittance to labor and delivery a couple of times, and she was in obvious pain and labor, and within 30 minutes of her being home her water broke,” said Steve Banks.

The couple rushed back to CarolinaEast an hour after being turned away from the hospital.

The family’s home is about a half-hour from the hospital. But Baby Banks had no intentions of holding back.

“Thankfully, I was able to get a neighbor to come and watch the girls who were asleep upstairs,” said Banks. “We had to go, right then.”

Baby Banks was born in-between pumps four and five at the Handy Mart gas station, his dad and a Bridgeton EMT handling the delivery.

“I watched my wife give birth to my son right there in the parking lot,” said Banks. “He came out and he was purple, and he wasn’t making a lot of noise. I was concerned on top of everything else going on.”

Just as he made his arrival, emergency services pulled into the parking lot.

“They came up and saw what was happening and jumped into action,” recalled Banks. “I’m sure that they are a large part of the reason to why everything went as smoothly as it did and there were no complications. I can’t thank them enough.”

The family was then taken to CarolinaEast by ambulance. When the parents questioned the hospital’s prior judgment, they say the hospital offered to detail their car in return.

WITN asked CarolinaEast about what happened.

The hospital system said in part, “CarolinaEast Health System cannot legally comment on patient matters or concerns. We internally follow all protocols and guidelines for such concerns but cannot publicly comment on them.”

On Tuesday the hospital system added that they would not turn anyone away and that an obstetrician evaluated the pregnant woman.

“Someone just please explain to me why this happened,” Banks said.

Now a few days recovered from the traumatic birth, the parents are holding their son tightly.

“He’s great. He’s healthy,” beamed Banks. “We’re happy he’s home.”

This baby is Lauren Banks’ second child. When she tried to get a bed at CarolinaEast she says she was four centimeters dilated, but until she reached five centimeters, she wouldn’t be considered for admittance.

As far as the car detailing, Banks says they did take the hospital up on the offer, as the car really needed it.

Banks says the boy has some jaundice currently being treated, otherwise, their son is a healthy newborn.

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