I-4 baby delivered with help from FHP trooper is healthy and mom is doing well

Arabella Grace Desamour has a full head of hair.

TAMPA, Fla. - Little Arabella Grace Desamour lays in her mother's lap.  She's less than thirty hours old and already Arabella, and how she came into this world, is the talk of the town.

Latoya and her husband Wiclef were driving from Brandon to St. Joe's Hospital after she began to have contractions at her job as a school teacher.

"I said, 'Let's just go straight to the hospital'.  But by the time we got on I-4, it was one push," Latoya recalled.

Latoya told her husband Wiclef to pull over, it was time for Arabella to be born.

"My husband was like, freaking out," she said.

Wiclef admits he was a little out of sorts.

"I looked and saw the baby there, I kind of lost it for a minute.  Then I saw the trooper.  My wife said, 'The trooper's right there'."

Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Dennis Rich was working an accident in the eastbound lanes when Wiclef came running from the westbound lanes.

"And I'm running toward the trooper while saying, 'She's here, she's here, she's here, she's here.'  And the trooper looked at me like, what are you talking about.  'What do you mean by 'She's here.'?  I say, 'My baby's here, my baby's here'. And that's when he jumped over the guardrail," Wiclef explained.

Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol aren't specifically trained on how to deliver a baby; especially on the side of the highway.  But, they are always prepared to assist.

"Troopers receive information on how to care for the child, and to render first aid until the officials can get there, the paramedics can get and really render the medical assistance that's needed," said FHP Sgt. Steve Gaskins.

By now, baby Arabella was on the front passenger floor of the car with Trooper Rich taking control of the situation.

"He had his gloves ready; so he didn't come over with dirty hands, touching her.  He put his gloves on and he attended to her," Latoya said.

Arabella and her parents will always have a tale to tell on her birthday. Trooper Dennis Rich insists he was just doing his job. The Desamours feel lucky that he was so close on another call.

"Thank you so much for your quick thinking," said Latoya in a message to Trooper Rich.


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