LAKE WALES, Fla. - The Polk County Sheriff's Office is calling it a "Christmas miracle."
Sheriff's deputy Adam Pennell, who was sitting in his patrol car, helped a woman deliver her newborn baby Isabella Fina Herrera on Tuesday, Dec. 12. It happened on the shoulder of U.S. 27 near a RaceTrac gas station.
“You may not believe in miracles, but we sure do,” the Polk County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post.
Herrera wasn't due until Dec. 20, according to the sheriff's office.
Around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, Linda Herrera's family approached a red light on U.S. 27. She then realized she was in active labor and the baby was coming soon.
The sheriff's office said Linda began yelling frantically at Pennell to get his attention. Pennell told Linda’s father Luis Herrera to pull over into the turn lane, and Pennell then positioned his patrol car to protect the family.
Pennell also radioed Emergency Medical Services to respond to the scene. Last year, Pennell was seriously injured in a hit-and-run crash that killed a woman.
After the birth, Linda’s mother Josefina Herrera noticed the umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s neck and she wasn't breathing. Josefina unwrapped the umbilical cord shortly after, according to the sheriff’s office.
Paramedics took Linda and baby Isabella to the hospital. Doctors said the baby is in “perfect health.” She weighed 6 pounds 4 ounces at birth.
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