Toll Booth Operator Helps Deliver Baby - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Toll Booth Operator Helps Deliver Baby

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Baby Avianna was born outside of a Pennsylvania Turnpike toll booth Sunday. Baby Avianna was born outside of a Pennsylvania Turnpike toll booth Sunday.
Lane 10 of the Willow Grove Toll Plaza where Avianna was born. Lane 10 of the Willow Grove Toll Plaza where Avianna was born.

With so much sadness in Boston, we wanted to bring you some joy, and tell you about the birth of a beautiful baby girl. She arrived not at a hospital, but right outside a toll booth along the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Avianna Jaycee knows how to make an entrance. She took her mom Carrie by surprise Sunday afternoon, as they drove to the store. Before they could get there, Carrie began having intense contractions, and told her sister Marlene Morris, "I gotta push." Morris told Fox 29, "I thought she was just exaggerating."

It happened as they pulled up to lane 10 of the Willow Grove Toll Plaza, at the entrance to the turnpike. Rich Balsamo was in the booth. Marlene Morris picks up the story from there. "Her grandfather is trying to pay the toll and I got out and opened up the door, and as soon as I took down her pants the baby's shoulders were there and everything." When Balsamo looked down, "The car door was already open and she was on like an angle." Balsamo pauses before adding, "The baby got shot out."

Coleen Davidson, Balsamo's co-worker at the toll booth plaza, heard it all over the radio. "Three minutes later, he says HighSpire, the baby has arrived." HighSpire, an ambulance company, had not gotten there yet. "The baby has arrived," Davidson repeated. "It's a great line, it was great," she said, laughing heartily. All the while, Morris was still on the line with 911. "The 911 operator was like, I need to tell you what to do. And I said, there's nothing to do, the baby's already out."

"Listen, we see so much stuff out here," Davidson told Fox 29. "Never seen that, that was awesome."

Balsamo remained calm throughout, taking the shirt off his back to wrap about baby Avianna. "You just can't stand around and do nothing, you gotta participate," Balsamo explained. "Because you're bringing in life, and that's what's the great part about it." Davidson had nothing but admiration for her co-worker. "I told him now he can retire. He's seen it all! That's it, he's out, right?"

Avianna is recovering at Abington Memorial Hospital. Staffers there would not let Fox 29 in. But her mom sent us cell phone video showing a very content baby, just like she was at the toll plaza. "She was just really calm," Morris said about the baby. "She was like, hey! I don't know what you guys are doing but, everybody's being all noisy around me."

As for Rich Balsamo, helping deliver a baby wasn't quite enough for him. "Beautiful baby, I'll tell you that," Balsamo said, before adding, "I paid the toll, yeah, I paid the toll."

By the way, baby Avianna weighed in at six pounds 15 ounces, and measured 20 and a half inches long.

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