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. 29, 2022 at 10:16 AM CDT
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CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN/Gray News) – A mother gave birth to her son in between pumps four and five at a gas station in North Carolina after being turned away from the hospital, the family said.

At 39 weeks and contracting, Lauren Banks and her husband, Steve Banks, went to CarolinaEast to bring their son into the world.

“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,” the father told WITN.

He said he got a neighbor to watch their daughter who was asleep, and the couple rushed back to the hospital an hour after being turned away.

It took them about 30 minutes to get to CarolinaEast from their home, but Baby Banks had no intentions of holding back.

Steve and an EMT delivered the baby at a Handy Mart gas station on the way to the hospital.

“I watched my wife give birth to my son right there in the parking lot,” Steve said. “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.

“Unfortunately babies don’t always cooperate with expectations…we’ve all heard stories of newborns making debuts in homes, cars, restaurants and even gas stations. The Banks’ baby certainly made an unexpected entrance, but we are so happy he is healthy and precious and absolutely wish the family all the best!” the hospital system said.

It is the mom’s second child. She said she was four centimeters dilated when she tried to get a bed at CarolinaEast, but they wouldn’t consider her for admittance until she reached five centimeters.

Baby Truett Lee Banks is currently being treated for jaundice but is otherwise a healthy newborn.

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