Mother’s desperate triple-0 call: ‘I’ve had my baby early; it’s 26 weeks’

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Colleen Constante and her newborn son Lucas. Photo: Radio 3AWColleen Constante is on her bathroom floor, cradling her newborn son.
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She is hysterical, barely able to breathe.

But she manages to call triple-0.

“I’ve had my baby early … but I don’t have anyone here,” she tells the operator.

Ms Constante had gone into labour at nearly 26 weeks – 14 weeks earlier than the normal 40-week gestation.

“The baby is breathing, is that right?” the operator asks.

“Yes, making noise,” Ms Constante replies.

Over the next seven minutes, with an ambulance en route, the operator talks calmly to Ms Constante.

“You’re doing really well Colleen, it must be a really scary thing for you to happen. We’ve got help on the way,” the operator says.

The recording of Ms Constante’s distressing call for help has been released to mark “Thank a Paramedic Day”.

Newborn Lucas was crying when paramedics arrived at the Constante’s home, but he stopped breathing soon after. The paramedics performed CPR, before racing him and Ms Constante to hospital.

Today Lucas is a thriving 18-month-old toddler.

Ms Constante said Lucas would not have survived without the actions of the paramedics and the calmness of the triple-0 dispatcher in the first seven minutes of his life.

“They never know what they’re going to get, they’re trained for everything,” Ms Constante told radio station 3AW on Tuesday.

“Hearing the stress in my voice, her main aim was to keep me calm and I think she did that really well.”

Ms Constante said it was hard to articulate the depth of her appreciation for the people who saved her son.

“There are only so many ways you can say thank-you,” she said.

Victorians can participate in the state’s inaugural Thank a Paramedic Day by sharing stories, photos and messages on Ambulance Victoria’s Facebook page, via Twitter (@ambulance_vic), or on Instagram (@ambulance_victoria) using the hash tag #ThanksAmbos.

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