“I did Ask Why She Didn’t Call an Ambulance, and She Said She Couldn’t Afford One”

On 25 November 2006 in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, Jess Thompson came to the rescue of a young woman in labor. Ms. Thompson, who had finished working at the Lazy Fisherman, said, “I was heading home when I saw a young woman crossing the James Street intersection, heading towards Diagonal Street. From the back, she was hunching down and walking really slowly. I kept on driving, but I looked in the rear-view mirror and she looked like she was in a lot of pain.” Ms. Thompson turned her car around and went back. She said, “I could see straight away she was pregnant, so I pulled over and got out of the car. I called out to her, ‘Excuse me, are you okay?’ and she said, ‘I think I’m having my baby.’” The pregnant woman appeared to be 19 years old, and blood was on the long white skirt she was wearing. Ms. Thompson said, “I just sort of froze and then said about a hundred things like, ‘So you want a lift?’ and that she should be in a hospital. I had towels in my car so I put them in the back and helped her in. She was crying and yelling, so I tried to keep her calm. I kept thinking, ‘Don’t have your baby in my car.’” Ms. Thompson drove the young woman to the Toowoomba Hospital and walked her to the counter. Ms. Thompson said, “They got a few people to come out to help her and then I left. I didn’t really want to ask too many questions; she was clearly upset. I did ask why she didn’t call an ambulance, and she said she couldn’t afford one.” Ms. Thompson added, “I was a bit scared. I’m not really one to pull over, but I kept thinking, ‘What if it were me or someone I knew?’ There weren’t many other cars on the road, so it was a good thing that I stopped. I was going to go out after work, but I was too shaken up.”

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